Zume Pizza Raises $375 Million From SoftBank, Other Firms on the Verge of Investing Too

The automated pizza delivery restaurant Zume has raised an additional $375 million from SoftBank, according to a recent report from "The WallStreet Journal."

“We’ve recently closed a round of funding to support our growth and hiring,” said Alex Garden, Zume CEO and co-founder in a statement.

Zume Pizza is a Silicon Valley-based company that is store-less and has a team of six different robots that assist in making the pizzas.

Zume also has delivery vehicles equipped with pizza ovens, so pizzas are ready for fast delivery.

But delivering fresh pizza isn't the company's only focus, Zume owns a patent for these delivery trucks and is considering licensing this technology to other restaurants looking to use trucks similar to those in Zume's fleet

“Pizza was our prototype,” said Garden to "TechCrunch" in April. “There’s no reason why this technology wouldn’t work for any restaurant or any food category. Any restaurant who wants to adopt our system can now easily do that. They don’t have to be experts in technology or appliance manufacturing. They can just be restaurateurs, who have a more flexible offering for customers.”

Evidently, the company's automation technology is especially attractive to investors because "The WSJ" also said that another firm is looking to invest another $375 million.

Prior to this recent investment, Zume already raised $70 million.

Do you think that this tech-focused pizza brand will take off with this massive investment?

Read more about the funding announcement and what the future holds for Zume at "TechCrunch."

We recently took a closer look at automation in the pizza industry. Watch the video below to see how Zume deploys its team of robots to make its pizzas.

Winemakers in California Prep for the Cannabis Boom

Winemakers in California Prep for the Cannabis Boom

As more regulations are passed across the country making cannabis legal, the potential for the market only grows.

Companies in the food and beverage industry are already gearing up to be ahead of the cannabis trend by offering either infused options with either the legal CBD non-psychoactive compound or the THC compound, both found in the marijuana plant.

In areas where marijuana isn't legal recreationally, CBD-infused treats and beverages instead are being sold.

The bar The Breslin at the Ace Hotel in New York is selling CBD brownies and cocktails. The eatery Bubby’s also in New York City has a CBD sweetener available for its coffee and cocktail beverages.

In areas when it is legal like California, cannabis fine dining has arrived.

However, there are some legal challenges when it comes to serving cannabis in dishes.

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Northern California Sees a Surge in Wine Tasting Room Openings

tasting room

Northern California is known for its wine country, but establishments selling wine in the Napa and Sonoma counties have to abide by strict regulations prior to opening.

With that being said, tasting room openings aren't happening every week.

But this year, the area saw a spike in these openings.

Some of the new Napa tasting rooms include Rebel Vintners, which is located downtown and features wines from Holman Cellars, Leaf & Vine and Cadle Family Wines; Signorello, which has opened a temporary space after its previous one was burned down in the 2017 wildfires, and Keplinger, which opened in August and offers an array of Rhone-style wines.

In Sonoma Country, the winery known for its fresh Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays Lioco opened its tasting room over labor day weekend; Abbot's Passage is now open offering wine tastings from a new wine label by Gundlach Bundschu; and then there's Small Vines, a vineyard operated by two former farmers that now has a tasting room in a converted apple barn in Sebastopol.

But wait there's more. In the Santa Cruz, there were two new tasting room openings.

Long Meadow Ranch, which just purchased the Stony Hill Vineyard, opened its tasting room in July where they serve Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris wines. Mount Eden is now allowing visitors to tour the historic property if they make an appointment for a seated tasting of a selection of six Mount Eden and Domaine Eden Wines.

Find out what other tasting rooms are opening in Northern California at "The Press" now.

Looking to enhance your wine menu?

Watch the video below to learn how to build and pair your wine selection with a food menu.

Move Over Folgers, These Specialty Instant Coffee Start-ups are on the Rise

Instant coffee often has a negative connotation. Some coffee enthusiasts even refuse to have Keurig cups.

It appears as though this is about to change with the help of innovative coffee start-ups.

Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea, a specialty coffee brand based in Chicago, is making a difference in coffee producing communities abroad. Learn about Intelligentsia and the Vice President of Coffee Geoff Watts below.

Intelligentsia has now partnered with San Francisco-based Sudden Coffee to roll out a line of single-serve instant coffee packs.

This instant product features a brew is called Rayos Del Sol from Peru and is packaged in compostable tubes.

The cost of a four-pack is $13, which is a premium price for a home brewed coffee product, and is available online and at select coffee bars. Consumers have made it clear that they are willing to pay a premium for high-quality brews. But what about for at-home coffee products?

Well, evidently, there's a lot of potential in the high-quality instant coffee market. The Rayos Del Sol's initial order sold out online.

Sudden Coffee is on a mission to make more high-quality coffee more accessible.

“Great coffee is a simple luxury that can make someone’s day a whole lot better,” said Joshua Zloof, co-founder of Sudden Coffee. “We wanted to make it more accessible, so anyone could have a great coffee, without a machine, without needing to learn how to brew it, without the need to drive to a cafe.”

These companies are part of a bigger coffee movement known as the "Third Wave" coffee.

"It’s part of the new wave of Third Wave coffee, and behind it is a collection of entrepreneurs who have developed proprietary freeze-drying and dehydrating methods to produce premium (or specialty) instant coffee," writes "The Chicago Tribune." "The “Third Wave” of coffee summarizes the current trend toward specialty coffees produced by small-batch roasters with a focus on artisan techniques, sustainable methods, and closer relationships with growers and harvesters. Locally, this would include Intelligentsia, Metropolis, Dark Matter, Halfwit, Gaslight, Metric and others."

Wildly popular chains like Starbucks and Dunkin' are known as the "Second Wave." The "First Wave" brands like Folgers and Maxwell House introduced at-home coffee products, where coffee is mass produced and then vacuum sealed to keep its freshness.

Read more about the companies driving the specialty instant coffee sector at the "Chicago Tribune."

Related Video

Cannabis Fine Dining has Arrived in California But Is it There to Stay?

Cannabis Fine Dining has Arrived in California But Is it There to Stay?

Fine dining chefs in California cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco are now incorporating cannabis into their menus. 

The cannabis dining trend continues to gain momentum. There are even a few shows like Cooking on High and Bong Appetite, both focused on cannabis-infused cuisine. 

Not all gourmet ganja dishes are meant to give those diners that head "high." With the legalization of marijuana, there is an array of concentrates available.  

"THC is the cannabis compound that can get users high. CBD is different. It's another cannabis compound that lacks psychoactive properties. Fans believe CBD relieves anxiety and pain, and it's become a popular ingredient in cocktails," writes "NPR."

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