If you scroll through Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Instagram, you’ll find plenty of fitness inspiration talks, heart warming messages and insane cheat meals he consumes every Sunday night. In those posts, he would regularly slurped down pints of his favorite ice cream from Salt & Straw. Back in December 2019, he liked the brand of the Oregon-based organization so much that he invested along-side his business partner and former spouse Dany Garcia. Johnson and Garcia invested an undisclosed amount in the 20-location ice cream shop, and will act as creative partners and strategic advisors for the future growth of the brand. Salt & Straw also notably counts Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer as an investor and board member. The Union Square Hospitality Group visionary joined May 2017 after adding an undisclosed amount through the company’s newly formed investment arm.
Garcia, CEO and chairwoman of the Garcia Companies and TGC Management, told Fast Company in a statement, “Salt & Straw’s proven commitment to connecting with local communities through their storytelling and creativity make this strategic investment a natural fit. We’re thrilled to provide our expertise to build upon their forward-thinking and disruptive approach that has delighted consumers and inspired meaningful brand experiences.”
Founded in 2011 by cousins Kim and Tyler Malek, the Portland-based company has been growing by leaps and bounds up and down the West Coast. It’s a departure for Johnson, whose brand extensions to this point—Under Armour, Voss water —have tied closely to his commitment to, and identity as, an absolute tower of muscle, nutrition and fitness.
Using the playbook he has used with his other companies, Johnson has been injecting his name into new flavors for the company and promoting them on his massive Instagram following. Last Christmas saw the debut of holiday-themed ice creams such as “Saw Mommy Kissing Dwanta Claus” and “Rock’n Around The Christmas Tree”.