Meet the Team
CEO - Happy Belly Food Group
As CEO, Shawn leads the overall firm-wide success at Plant&Co Brands. Shawn has a wealth of corporate leadership experience, proven technological expertise and many years in the health care and technology sectors.
Being a consummate strategic marketing technologist, he has a multitude of disciplinary backgrounds which have enabled him to play major roles in leading the vision, innovation, and growth strategy of many internationally known companies, while demonstrating exceptional leadership and mentorship to his teams.
Kevin ColeHappy Belly Food Group Board Member
Kevin Cole is a strategist and a business builder. Kevin has set strategies and led turn arounds for many declining or slow growing Consumer Packaged Goods Businesses to deliver Billions in incremental growth and profit. In setting the vision, strategies, and plans, Kevin has step-changed the performance of many brands and portfolios to deliver share leadership positions across multiple categories including Petcare (PEDIGREE, IAMS, NUTRO, GREENIES, WHISKAS and TEMPTATIONS), Consumer Health (Oral Care: SENSODYNE, POLIDENT, Skin Care: OXY, SPECTRO) and Confections (FERRERO ROCHER and the FERRORO Boxed Chocolate Portfolio).
Currently, Kevin is President and Chief Executive Officer of STEM Animal Health, a company that is working to address anti-bacterial resistance in Animal Health due to the formation of biofilms. Previously, Kevin has held Senior Executive and Management positions in several multi-national companies including MARS Canada, GSK Consumer Healthcare, and FERRERO. Kevin is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University’s HBBA program.
Kevin is also the Chairman of the Board for LUMIERA Health, a natural consumer health company, where he led the team through the integration of MONDIAS and LUMIERA Health Innovation, strengthened the Management Team and set the foundation for the team to focus on growth.
Alex RechichiHappy Belly Food Group Board Member
Alex Rechichi is a food entrepreneur who has co-founded, managed and invested in many dynamic omni channel Food Brands, including Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, The Burger’s Priest, Via Cibo Italian Street Food, Bangkok Buri and Fresh Plant Powered. Most recently Alex has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Crave it Group since October 2013. Crave it is an active investor in the restaurant and functional food space, scaling brands that re-invent the food experience. These brands include; The Burger’s Priest, Via Cibo Italian Street Food, Bangkok Buri Thai Kitchen and Fresh Plant Powered. Crave It recently sold its interest in The Burger’s Priest and Fresh Plant Powered to Recipe Unlimited (formerly Cara Operations in April 2021).
Prior to Crave It, Alex was Co-Founder and CEO of Extreme Brandz from 1997 – 2013. Extreme Brandz was the parent company of Extreme Pita and Mucho Burrito and Purblendz with over 340 franchised restaurants across North America and Internationally. On September 23rd, 2013 the majority of Extreme Brandz assets were acquired by The MTY Tiki Ming Food Group.
Alex and his partners are early-stage investors that offer strategic growth and operational experience to assist existing management teams in the scaling phase of the business. Alex is also an early investor and board member at Unbun Foods, an innovative Functional Foods Bakery producing Gluten Free, Low Carb, Keto bread products available in Retail and Foodservice across North America.
Alex is a graduate of Queen’s University and has been recognized as Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award recipient during his time at Extreme Brandz. In 2006, Canada`s Foodservice and Hospitality recognized Extreme Brandz and honoured them with the 2006 Entrepreneur of the Year Pinnacle award. In 2011, Extreme Brandz was named Company of The Year by Canada`s Foodservice and Hospitality Magazine. In 2012, Alex and Mark Rechichi were finalists for Ernest & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Extreme Pita was recognized as one of the top 100 leading global franchises by Entrepreneur Magazine, receiving many marketing accolades, including being recognized as a leader in nutritional disclosure within the restaurant space.
Mark RechichiHappy Belly Food Group Board Member
Mark Rechichi is also a serial food entrepreneur who has co-founded and led many iconic food brands. He, along with his partners in the Crave It Group, have been early investors in private companies using his financial and operational skills to assist in their growth. Currently Mark is the Chief Financial Officer and Co-Founder of Crave-It Restaurant Group. Crave It Restaurant Group is the parent company for Via Cibo Italian Street Food, The Burger’s Priest, Fresh Plant Powered and Bangkok Buri. In April 2021, Crave-It sold its interest in The Burger’s Priest and Fresh Plant Powered to Recipe Unlimited (formerly Cara Operations).
Before co-founding Crave It Restaurant Group, Mark was Chief Financial Officer and Co-Founder of Extreme Brandz, the parent company of Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, and PurBlendz, with over 340 franchised restaurants across North America and internationally.
Mark holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from Queen’s University and is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant (CA), and a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). Early in his career Mark worked at Price Waterhouse and Merrill Lynch in Toronto, Ontario. In 2001, Mark left Bay Street to join his brother Alex in their parent`s basement to starting a business which became Extreme Pita. In May 2004, the 100th Extreme Pita restaurant opened, and only three years later, in October 2007, the 200th restaurant opened. Extreme Brandz contributed a portion of its profits to a charity it had formed called extremepitacares.com, which primarily focused on charitable support by bettering the lives of children through nutrition, education, and sports.
Dean CallawayCFO., CPA., MBA - Happy Belly Food Group
Dean holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Dalhousie University and an MBA from Nijenrode University in the Netherlands.
He has more than 27 years of financial leadership experience with the likes of Merrill Lynch, TransAlta, Enbridge and Terasen where he worked in corporate finance, project development, and mergers and acquisitions, said the firm. For over the last ten years, he has worked for private and Toronto-listed public companies operating in the oil and gas and cannabis sectors in international jurisdictions.
Amy NelsonFood Product Developer
Chief Investment Officer
Sean is a co-founder in Crave IT Restaurant Group. In 2021 it sold its interest in both The Burger’s Priest (including its 25 franchised and corporately owned stores) and Fresh Plant Powered Restaurants to Recipe Unlimited (TSX:RECP), a publicly traded company on the
Toronto Stock Exchange.
From 2013 to 2014, Mr. Black held the executive level position of Chief Development Officer at MTY Food Group (TSX:MTY), a publicly traded.
Prior to that, Mr. Black held various positions within the Extreme Brandz from 2000 to 2013. Overseeing Real Estate & Franchise Development of the brand portfolio franchise system.