Aunt Fannie’s, the Portland company banking on consumers embracing the microbiome when they clean up around the house, is heading into Target and expanding its pest-control products line.
“Target is our first crack at a mass retailer shelf, and one of the best, just a tremendous opportunity to reach new consumers,” CEO Mat Franken said in an interview.
Mat Franken moved Aunt Fannie’s to Portland from South Carolina in early 2016. Today the company is located in the Starve Ups incubator in the WeWorks co-working space.
Franken launched Aunt Fannie’s five years ago with a fruit-fly trap called FlyPunch! Vinegar-based household cleaners followed.
The company positions its products as going a step beyond familiar “natural” and “nontoxic” concepts by using “whole and food-based” ingredients that allow beneficial bacteria to flourish.
Aunt Fannie’s closed a $2.5 million capital raise in September last year, then pulled in another $2.375 million before the end of the year. Its backers include Monica Nassif, who founded the Mrs. Meyer’s and Caldrea brands, which were acquired by consumer products giant SC Johnson in 2008.
The company said it will hit Target shelves beginning in June. Ahead of that, next month Aunt Fannie’s will expand its pest-control line with ant and roach sprays.
“Instead of bombing the house and having a fog that lays chemicals everywhere, we have a direct-oriented spray that can be used in cupboards and cabinets, around thresholds and windowsills, and there’s no danger to kids or pets or anyone,” Franken said. “The nice part is they’re preventative, providing a protective barrier that can be used as part of your normal cleaning schedule, whether its once a week or once a month.”