Dallas, TX – July 29th,2021 – Buff City Soap, a plant-based home and personal care brand franchise, announced that Craig Kessler will join the Company as Chief Executive Officer, effective August 2nd, 2021. Kessler has extensive experience managing significant growth and brings a proven track record in managing multi-unit operations, brand development, experiential concepts and building extraordinary teams and culture.
Kessler joins Buff City Soap from Topgolf, where he served as Chief Operating Officer while the concept more than tripled in size to nearly one billion dollars in revenue. During his time there, Kessler strengthened the company’s operations, culture, and innovation pipeline. Under Kessler’s leadership, Topgolf venues grew from 25 to 70. While Kessler was at Topgolf, the company earned several awards, including Deloitte’s prestigious “Best Managed Company” award.
“Bringing in a proven leader like Craig, who has a track record of driving a global brand with a focus on operations, will prove instrumental as we continue to expand across the U.S.,” said Mike Sutton, Managing Partner at Guideboat Capital Partners and Co-Chairman of Buff City Soap. “We are seeing incredible demand for our handcrafted and plant-based products, and Craig has the experience in the consumer sector, strong financial acumen and track record of growth leadership that makes him perfect to lead Buff City Soap through the next phase of growth.”
Buff City Soap has experienced rapid growth as consumers are drawn to its differentiated, high quality offering of plant-based soaps, laundry, bath and body products, which are handmade daily in each store’s Soap Makery. The Company has attracted highly experienced franchisees who have helped quadruple the brand’s footprint since 2020 to more than 115 stores in 21 states and have demonstrated strong enthusiasm for the Buff City Soap concept and mission. Buff City Soap has significant expansion planned for 2021 and beyond with its recent growth equity investment from General Atlantic, a leading global growth equity firm with more than four decades of investing experience.
“I am thrilled to join the Buff City Soap family,” said Kessler. “This one-of-a-kind business is building a loyal fanbase across the country and the opportunities for growth are remarkable. There is an incredible energy among the Buff City Soap leadership team, and I am excited and honored to be part of it. I am also very encouraged by the unwavering commitment from Buff City Soap’s deeply experienced franchisee base. I am fired up to work with the team and our franchisees to continue the Company’s impressive growth.”
Before joining Topgolf, Kessler was an Operating Partner at Providence Equity Partners, working to improve operations at the firm’s portfolio companies across the globe. Prior to attending business school, Kessler also was an Operating Partner for KKR, another leading global private equity firm. Kessler started his career in management consulting with McKinsey & Company as a Business Analyst. Kessler received his undergraduate degree from the Georgetown University and his MBA from Harvard Business School.
About Buff City Soap
Founded in 2013 and franchising since 2018, Buff City Soap continues its rapid growth trajectory across 115+stores and 21 states. Buff City Soap’s delightfully smelling and uniquely handmade plant-based soaps, laundry, bath and body products are disrupting the retail beauty and consumer goods categories, and Buff City Soap was recognized in Entrepreneur’s Top 100 “Best of the New” franchise rankings. For more information visit the Buff City Soap website: www.buffcitysoap.com.
About Guideboat Capital Partners
Guideboat Capital Partners is a Dallas based private equity firm focused on investments in entrepreneur and founder led lower middle-market companies. Guideboat Capital Partners is along-term partner to great management teams seeking out the next level of growth or liquidity. Guideboat Capital Partners continuously supports their portfolio companies as active advisers and offers operational support to achieve full potential value for all stakeholders. For more information visit the Guideboat Capital Partners website: www.guideboatcap.com