Sherbrooke Launching Quest

A venture group outside of Boston reportedly plans to launch a fund within a venture fund to invest in consumer goods companies.

Sherbrooke Capital, a Newton Lower Falls, Mass.-based venture firm is backing a new holding, Quest Capital Inc., a venture firm that will operate within Sherbrooke.

John Bello, the founder and former CEO of Sobe Beverages, and Ed Slade, former president of Fiji Water will head the new venture, according to a report in the Boston Business Journal.

Bello is no stranger to venture-backed consumer companies. His company Sobe, which received $8 million in funding over six years, was sold to The Pepsi Bottling Group in 2001 for $375 million.

The Quest fund – the size of which is unknown – intends to invest $2 million to $5 million in consumer product companies, according to Sherbrooke managing general partner John Giannuzzi.

Sherbrooke has investment experience with food and berverages. The VC firm currently has a $100 million fund that it is investing in such areas as pharmaceuticals and health care devices, as well as what the firm calls functional food and beverages. For example, Sherbrooke led a $15 million investment in Cooke Pharma, makers of HeartBar. The company was sold in 2000.

Other Sherbrooke portfolio companie include Outside the Classroom, a Boston-based provider of health and life skills courses that Sherbrooke invested $1.5 million in last year.