Chefs that want to expand concepts beyond well-executed local independents are turning to more sophisticated investors. Tosi's teaming up with RSE would appear to play to both of their strengths.
— Jason Clampet
Tosi and RSE declined to reveal the amount of the total investment, but the Wall Street Journal described it as “eight figures.”
Milk Bar currently has stores in New York, Toronto, Las Vegas, and Washington, D.C. It first gained prominence as part of the Momofuku family of restaurants, where Tosi was in charge of dessert programs, and still operates some outlets near outposts in multiple cities.
RSE most recently invested in the fast casual pizza chain &pizza, and had previously invested in Momofuku and Resy. The firm’s co-founder Stephen Ross is the founder and chairman of real estate giant Related Companies and an owner of the Miami Dolphins.
In a statement, Tosi said, “For almost a decade, we’ve built the Milk Bar spirit patiently and purposefully by infusing our personality and culture into everything we create from the ground up. We are excited to spread our curious and playful spirit all over the world through unexpected channels and innovative products, to empower people and remind them to take time to celebrate the everyday.”
Tosi plans to use the funding to open new stories in new markets as well as improve its e-commerce offerings. It will also seek to expand retail distribution of products including baking mixes, coffee, and more. In addition to running Milk Bar, Tosi has authored multiple books and served as a host or guest on the MasterChef series on Fox television.
Matt Higgins, co-founder and CEO of RSE Ventures, said in a statement, “Milk Bar is driving towards something even bigger – a way of life that creates connectivity and inspires play – sparked by something as simple as a cookie. Their growth potential is limitless.”