There is no doubt that A.J. Cervantes, Jr. is a notable contender in the world of emerging growth public companies. His most recent venture with the Nasdaq listed company Smart for Life, Inc. has increased his status tenfold in the burgeoning health and wellness sector.
Indelible contributions and tireless advocacy have made him a pioneer in the business world. His boundless optimism exemplifies the impact one person can have on the industry. The trailblazer’s consummate work reminds us of the sheer power of smart business.
A savvy entrepreneur, he has built numerous successful companies. Cervantes founded Smart for Life, Inc. with a vision of creating a global, high growth and vertically integrated nutraceutical company providing a broad range of services and products with an objective of supporting good health for all demographics worldwide. He excels in deal making for early-stage companies and quarterbacks an accomplished M&A team, having already executed a significant number of strategic acquisitions in the nutraceutical world. This commitment to acquiring complementary businesses at attractive valuations builds on the company’s organic growth.
With his impressive and eclectic background, this businessman has worked across multiple industries as both an investor and startup entrepreneur culminating in his success today. In his youth in the mid-70s, he cut his teeth at an independent international record company, Butterfly Records, where he capitalized on the dance music craze at the time. Then, under his leadership, they negotiated a multi-year distribution agreement with MCA Records. In the early 80s, he took his first company, Mediacom Industries, public.
In the ensuing years, he was involved in a significant number of early-stage entities, ranging from proprietary building systems to national food franchises. His holding companies, Trilogy Capital Partners, formed in the early 90s, and its successor company, Trilogy Capital Group, are boutique private equity operations that have been engaged in merchant banking, strategic communications, and M&A advisory services. These became the founder and principal shareholder of companies such as Smart for Life, Inc.
With venture capital metrics at play, some of his companies were more successful than others, but, as Cervantes notes, the experience and relationships garnered along the way have culminated in the establishment of Smart for Life, Inc., which he believes holds the greatest market potential of all his projects to date.
“As the team leader and principal shareholder of Trilogy Capital Group, I work with our team to identify high growth, undervalued opportunities in high growth industries that have the potential to become market leaders in their respective niche. We are industry agnostic and highly opportunistic in the best sense of the word and seek to capitalize on evolving trends and inefficiencies in the market,” Cervantes says. “In 2017, one of our analysts came to me and said she was seeing a substantial number of supplement (vitamins and nutritional foods) companies for sale. A deep dive validated not only long-term industry growth but identified a substantial universe of prospective acquisitions.”
The health and wellness sector holds enormous opportunities for a publicly held company, especially one executing a ‘Buy & Build’ strategy. Further, the Covid- pandemic has only served to validate the thesis, by driving increased demand for high-quality nutritional foods and supplements with customers worldwide embracing these products to foster good health. This is the business proposition that resulted in the formation of Smart for Life, Inc.
Now, having executed five acquisitions, four in the last twelve months alone, this nascent entity is well on its way to becoming an international dynamo with a significant number of brands such as the flagship product for which the parent company was renamed, Smart for Life (nutrition bars), Greens First supplements and the recently acquired Sports Illustrated Nutrition products. The company’s growing portfolio of consumer brands allow Smart for Life, Inc. to leverage its highly scalable, state-of-the-art manufacturing operations providing captive facilities to mitigate supply chain issues and maximize quality control.
With him spearheading operations for Smart for Life, Inc., the company’s market potential is significant. The business is now a vertically integrated, global holding company engaged in the development, marketing, manufacturing, acquisition, operation, and sale of a broad spectrum of nutritional and related products with an emphasis on health & wellness.
Cervantes’ vision has redefined industry standards and revolutionized how we look at wellness. Inspired by his own commitment to the trade, he is constantly developing fresh concepts and innovative product lines that cater to areas of growing consumer demand.