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Promise holdings is a private holding & investment company that invests in and operates early and late stage businesses in three primary Consumer industry sectors: 


Food (Food & Beverage)

Fashion (Fashion & Beauty)

Fun (Entertainment & Leisure)


We bring a high-energy, fun, entrepreneurial spirit to every company, person and situation. We invest and help co-found start-ups, as well as acquire older, 75+ year-old companies. Our only investment criteria are: 


Great People

Great Ideas

Great Fun


Our Promise to everyone we come into contact with - is that we Promise to help our partners fulfill their Promise.


A life-long Chicago area native, Gordon is an investor, entrepreneur, artist and performer. He is the Founder of Promise Holdings, a diverse-owned Investment firm focused on investing in the Food, Fashion & Fun industries.  Earlier, Gordon was a Principal and/or Associate with private equity funds Baird Capital, Reliant Equity and Wind Point Partners. Gordon is also a board member of Definition Theater and co-founder of the Definition Innovator program, an incubator for Chicago South side and West side entrepreneurs, as well as the Co-founder/Vice Chair of AAAIM, the Association of Asian American Investment Managers, and former Board member of the Goodman Theatre and Chicago Sinfonietta.  He received his MBA from Harvard Business School where he was a Toigo Fellow and Founder of the Asian American Business Association. He received his BS from the University of Illinois, graduating with Highest Honors and receiving the Bronze Tablet. Gordon is a published author and speaker on diversity in the alternative asset industry, and is also a published poet, produced playwright, spoken word artist, world-class traveler and wedding singer.



A Memphis native, Jackie is an investor, entrepreneur, operator, and performer. She is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Promise Holdings, a diverse-owned Investment firm focused on investing in the Food, Fashion & Fun industries. Previously, Jackie had a series of senior roles within the banking industry, starting in Investment Banking, Leveraged Finance, and culiminating in Operations leadership as the COO and day-to-day leader of multi-billion dollar divisions within Wells Fargo Bank and Capital One Bank. Simultaneously, Jackie is also the founder and CEO of Southern Belles, a pioneer in the gourmet BBQ sauce industry with over 100+ national awards. She received her MBA from Vanderbilt University where she was a Toigo Fellow, and her BS from Howard University where she was awarded a full scholarship. Finally, Jackie is also a world-class traveler and successful wedding singer.



We believe in working with high-integrity people to create long-term value and have fun along the way. Because we believe in making truly sound, long-term business decisions, we do not have a fixed time horizon for exiting our investments. Our primary criteria are as follows:

Investment:  Flexible: Control Buyout, “Influential” Minority Growth Equity, Venture

EBITDA:    $1 million or more for Buyouts, Pre-revenue for Seed Venture

Industry:  All Consumer, with specific emphasis on Food, Fashion & Beauty, and Leisure

Operators First
Operators First

We’re not former  finance guys  who have “Operating Advisers”. We are former and current Operators. Period.

Contrarian Approach

We like to go where the “herd” isn’t. We’re driven by data, and our own intuition. We don’t believe in following


We invest in great people & great ideas. No time horizon on exit. No set approach to management or structure. No definition of stage (early or late)


Our Companies

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Promise Confections

With manufacturing facilities in the Bay Area, CA, Seattle, WA, and Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, Promise Confections is a private label and branded manufacturer of chocolate and confections including the brands: Salted Nut Roll, Big Hunk, Rocky Road, Abba-Zaba, Dilettante Chocolates and Myntz!



AKIRA was founded in 2002 to provide the trendiest clothing, shoes and accessories for women. We sell through 30+ retail stores in 8 cities and a vibrant website.



Azalea Wang is a cutting-edge designer and seller of trendy shoes for women from all walks of life.



Based in Tampa, FL, Catalina Finer Foods is a 50-year old manufacturer of iconic Latin influenced frozen & refrigerated foods


Sparkstone Electrical Group

Formerly Chicago Switchboard, Sparkstone Electrical Group is a leading provider of electrical distribution equipment and services. With a strong commitment to excellence, they specialize in manufacturing top-tier switchboards, switchgear, and panelboards, and offer a wide range of electrical services, including commissioning, testing, and maintenance.



Galaxy Technologies, located in Winfield, Kansas near the heart of the Air Capital, is a “best value” business partner to companies around the world with complex design and manufacturing needs. We are a major supplier for the design, manufacturing and assembly of production tooling for the aerospace, defense and plastic markets. Major customers include Boeing, Spirit Aerosystems, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Rubbermaid and Coleman.


Gateway Newstands is the leading franchisor of newstands in North America, with over 400 locations throughout Canada and the United States. The company provides convenient products through its kiosks and small footprint retail locations in malls, office building lobbies, train stations, hospitals and universities.


Hickory Farms is a leading specialty food retailer. The company is known for food gifts that are sold via web, catalog, mass retail and grocery. During the holiday season, Hickory Farms operates 500+ seasonal kiosks across North America. The company just celebrated the brand’s 65th Anniversary, and is transforming and reinventing the brand with a focus to be the best retailer in the food gifting space.



FoodBarz is the leading high-end commercial foodservice amenity service to multi-tenant suburban office buildings. The company currently has leases for 15+ locations located in large, suburban office buildings in the Chicago area where it is the exclusive food provider.



IGeneX, is a leading high complexity, CLIA-certified clinical reference laboratory providing personalized molecular and immunological testing services for Lyme and associated tick borne diseases to private practice physicians, hospitals, and other clinical reference laboratories worldwide. Based in Palo Alto California, the Company has been committed to providing innovative, state-of-the-art clinical testing for over two decades and places special emphasis on the individual needs of each healthcare provider and each patient. IGeneX provides testing for the entire United States and globally, with the majority of its international business originating from Canada, Australia, and Europe.

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Pear's Snacks

Founded in 1915 and based in Bellevue, Nebraska, Pear's Snacks is a leading manufacturer and marketer of baking and snacking nuts.

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Maya Romanoff is the largest manufacturer of handcrafted wallcoverings in the United States. For more than 40 years, their artisans have incorporated glass beads, gold leaf, seashells, wood and stitching right in their Chicago studio.

Prolific Ventures​

Prolific Ventures is a partnership between Promise Holdings and Prolific Media to invest in and provide value-added services to various eComm businesses, by providing value-added digital marketing expertise, equity & debt capital raising capabilities, and general strategic and revenue generating capabilities.”.


Based on a generations old family recipe out of Memphis, Southern Belles BBQ is the leading brand, and a pioneer in the Premium BBQ sauce category, having won over 100+ national BBQ sauce awards


Surge CPG was created to provide the next generation of food and beverage companies with actual, tangible value-add. Our unique team has complimentary skillset with an entrepreunurial bend to make you true value-added capital. As partners, Surge provides

on the shelf distribution into 10- 3,000 stores, to test or to scale, actual outsourced sales and operations management, invested capital as lead investor or part of a syndicate, and equity & debt capital fundraising capabilities. Through a disciplined, comprehensive approach, we add value in every phase of a brands evolution.

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Uncle John’s Pride/Zummo Sausage Co.

Uncle John’s Pride has been making sausage for over 40 years with its signature of quality, freshness, and affordability.  Under various brands including Uncle John’s Pride, Bean Brothers, Real Tree, Peppino’s, and Garcia, Uncle John’s delicious smoked sausage can be found in hundreds of retail and foodservice establishments.

Zummo specializes in producing the best tasting cajun style boudin and smoked sausage by using the highest quality, all natural ingredients

Malley's Chocolates

Malley’s Chocolates, based in Cleveland is an iconic and well-known retailer of chocolate and confections

I Love Produce

I Love Produce, based in southeastern Pennsylvania, is a value-added distributor and processor of produce, especially garlic, ginger and shallots.

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CCI Prime

Based in Brooklyn, NY and Bethlehem, PA, CCI Prime, comprised of Prime Food Processing and Chan & Chan, is one of the leading manufacturers of frozen Asian food in the United States.

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Prime Food

Former Portfolio Companies (Since Exited)


We are a worldwide designer and manufacturer of specialty hand tools for the professional and DIY market. Our flagship brand, Imperial® has been a pioneer in the manufacturing of brass valves and fittings, and developed into the worldwide leader of innovative products serving the HVAC/R service and tube working tool industries.


With decades of combined experience in the Golf, Sports and Technology industries, the SWING KING team has developed a revolutionary system for bringing more revenue and excitement into your clubhouse. We love golf, creating value for our partners, building world-class technology, and golf.


Our mission at Soil & Clay is to strengthen your bond with nature and help liven up your space. Soil & Clay is the leading online retailer of house plants and other home decor products.


Our mission at Soil & Clay is to strengthen your bond with nature and help liven up your space. Soil & Clay is the leading online retailer of house plants and other home decor products.

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Insight Medical Genetics is a leading turnkey provider of integrated clinical and laboratory services in the high growth field of genetic medicine. Headquartered in Chicago, Insight Medical Genetics continues to build on its significant referring provider network of approximately 500 physicians and 150 practices in Illinois. The patient centric focus and high touch personalized counseling make Insight an extension of, and critical support function for referring providers.



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