SOURCE: Zola Açaí

October 30, 2007 10:05 ET

Zola Açaí Names CPG & Natural Foods Industry Veteran Felix Maez CEO

Former Thai Kitchen and Celestial Seasonings Executive Joins Growing Executive Team, Including New Sales VP Stephen Buszka, Jr.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - October 30, 2007) - Zola Açaí, the world's first Brazilian Superfruit Juice and the best selling single Açaí drink in the natural foods channel according to the SPINS market research firm, today announced the appointment of Felix Maez as CEO.

Maez brings to Zola over 30 years' experience at companies that include RJR Nabisco, Del Monte USA, and Kraft Foods. His accomplishments include growing net sales at Celestial Seasonings from $25M to $70M and directing Thai Foods' Thai Kitchen and Simply Asia brands to #1 market positions. The company also announced the appointment of Stephen Buszka, Jr., a 25-year veteran of the food industry, as vice president of sales.

Zola Founder & President Chris Cuvelier, who created the Zola Açaí beverage, said, "With our backing from Emigrant Capital, the addition of Felix to our team means that we now have the leadership in place needed to take us to the next level of strategic growth. This will also enable me to devote significantly more time to new product research, development and marketing."

Maez commented, "The Açaí and superfruit beverage markets are seeing explosive growth relative to other CPG segments, giving Zola the potential to achieve a dominant market position. Açaí is looking more and more like the next pomegranate, and with Chris' ability to create the best-tasting, healthiest drinks on the market, I am looking forward to helping Zola realize that potential."

John G. Appel, III, managing director of Emigrant Capital, noted, "We invest in companies capable of being the #1 brand in their segment. By expanding the strategic, sales and financial depth of our executive team, we are now well positioned to execute on our goals for the long-term."

About Zola Açaí

Zola Açaí combines an authentic Brazilian recipe and a proprietary processing technology to produce an organic, all-natural, shelf-stable product that tastes great. The key ingredient in Zola is the organic Açaí berry, which is wild-harvested by hand in the heart of the Amazon jungle. Açaí berries contain more antioxidants than any other edible fruit on the planet, including pomegranates and blueberries. Zola is made from 100% unfiltered pulp of antioxidant- and omega fatty acid-rich Açaí berries and infused with energy-sustaining Guaraná powder, making it perfect for people on the go who need hours of healthy, sustained energy. Zola's packaging is 12-month shelf stable, making it ideal for both produce coolers and grocery shelves. The company strongly supports sustainable harvesting and medical and educational programs for the Açaímu people who harvest its Açaí berries. Zola is sold nationally at Whole Foods, Wild Oats, Cost Plus and Vitamin Shoppe, and regionally at King Sooper, Ralphs and Wegmans. Zola is available in Açaí Original, Açaí + Pineapple, and Açaí + Blueberry flavors. Visit

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