Startups

Cheese tech company Armored Fresh invested $125K to expand its NoVa presence

The company, which developed dairy-free cheeses, plans to grow its Fairfax County HQ with 27 new positions.

Say cheese. (Photo by Flickr user Andy Wright, used via a Creative Commons license)

As we dig deeper into the new year, an internationally reaching cheese tech company is looking to grow its domestic presence — starting with its Northern Virginia HQ.

South Korea’s Armored Fresh, formerly Yangyoo, announced today plans to invest $125,000 into expanding its US headquarters in Fairfax County. The company will add 27 new roles (largely in sales and marketing) ahead of growth plans for 2023.

The company developed almond milk-based cheeses that it’s looking to commercialize worldwide. The company is headquartered in McLean with an additional location in Seoul, South Korea. But this expansion is key to achieving some of the company’s 2023 goals, CEO Andrew Yu said.

“Expansion of our Fairfax HQ is part of our overall growth plans,” Yu told Technical.ly. “While we are growing our customer base nationally, we will support that via our growing staff in our Fairfax HQ.”

The company currently offers dairy-free cheeses in such styles as sliced American cheese (which it debuted at CES 2023 earlier this month), shredded mozzarella, cheese cubes and cream cheese with a few flavor options.

With the Fairfax expansion, the company will be serving its US customers through online sales and a brick-and-mortar store in New York City, New York. Stores in other cities and states will follow, leadership said.

Yu said added the company has set high targets for product development, manufacturing and sales in 2023. He’s also hoping to pursue a Series B round later in the year; in June 2022, the company closed a $23 million pre-B round, valuing the company at $120 million, according to Yu.

But in the meantime, the company is already seeking the right workers for its team.

“We are looking for people who will fit into our culture,” Yu said. “We are a startup and we need people who are comfortable with a fast-paced environment and good at problem-solving.”

Armored Fresh worked with the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to facilitate the expansion. The company’s jobs will be further supported through the state-funded Virginia Jobs Investment Program, which has helped various local companies expand operations.

“We are honored to have Armored Fresh continue to call Fairfax County home,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, in a statement. “Armored Fresh’s growth speaks volumes about the diversity of business sectors that thrive here as part of our world-class innovation ecosystem while making an impact on a national and global scale.”

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