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E’ville Biz: Paula LeDuc Sells, Upside Acquires ‘Seafood’ Startup, MycoWorks Receives $125M Investment

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An aggregate of business-related news stories applicable to Emeryville.

Longtime Emeryville business Paula LeDuc has sold her catering company after 43 years. Upside Foods has acquired a ‘Seafood’ based startup to help boost their portfolio and MycoWorks has raised $125M to help ramp-up production of their patented mushroom leather.

Longtime caterer Paula LeDuc sells venture to new company with familiar faces

By Alex Barreira

After nearly 43 years at the helm of her eponymous Emeryville catering company, Paula LeDuc is coming about as close as she’ll ever admit to retirement.

LeDuc will announce this week that she and her husband Jim are stepping away from Paula LeDuc Fine Catering & Events and selling the company to a group of longtime executives who will continue operating the brand under a new corporate entity. LeDuc, who will give up her role as CEO as well, declined to disclose the terms but shared that the company’s annual revenue in 2019 was $22 million.

Read More on SF Business Times (Paywall may apply)


Photo: Lindsey Filowitz/courtesy MycoWorks.

With this $125 million investment, there’s about to be a lot more mushroom leather

By Adele Peters

Inside a small factory in Emeryville, California, in trays filled with sawdust, the biomaterials startup MycoWorks is growing mycelium—the root-like part of mushrooms—to create dense layers of a material that looks, feels, and bends like leather made from cows. The pilot plant, which has been in operation over the last year, can only produce the material in small volumes. But the company just raised $125 million in a Series C funding round, which it will now use to build a mass-production facility in South Carolina.

Read More on FastCompany.com


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Lobster in a lab: Upside Foods boosts seafood portfolio with acquisition

By Alex Barreira

Upside Foods, the Berkeley-based cell-cultivated meat company racing to the public market, is boosting its product portfolio with the acquisition of a Wisconsin startup that makes cell-cultivated lobster, scallops and other crustaceans.

Cultured Decadence, based in Madison, launched in 2020 and has nine employees, all of whom will join Upside and assume the parent company’s branding as its facilities become Upside’s Midwest hub. Upside, formerly known as Memphis Meats, declined to share financial details of the acquisition.

Read More on SF Business Times (Paywall may apply)

Rob Arias

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

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