Popular beverage brand taps Berkshire Hathaway executive to lead the explosive growth company
McCartan is the former Vice President of Global Retail and Real Estate for See’s Candy, a Berkshire Hathaway Company. Prior to working for the 100-year-old iconic chocolate company, McCartan held leadership positions with Fortune 500 retailers like American Eagle Outfitters, Williams-Sonoma, Inc., and Skechers U.S.A.
Throughout his admirable career, McCartan has aspired to lead a brand whose values align with his own. He learned more about that process as a consultant for several leading startups in the direct-to-consumer space, which led him to executive roles at Will Leather Goods and Tecovas. McCartan believes he’s found that partnership in Swig and its primary investor, Savory Fund.
“When I met the Savory team and the founding members of Swig, it was clear from day one that this was my future,” McCartan said. “The team’s level of innovation, commitment to quality, and intense focus on leading the customized beverage sector made this the easiest decision of my career. I am thrilled and grateful to be a part of the Savory family of companies.”
McCartan’s vast experience in various phases of growth capitalization has taught him to be “adaptable, nimble, open to new ideas, and to take calculated risks.” He will bring that expertise to Swig, a skyrocketing brand with 45 locations across five states — with five more to come this year alone.
“After performing an extensive search across the country, it was a unanimous vote to have Rian be Chief Executive Officer of Swig,” said Managing Director and Co-Founder of Savory Fund Andrew K. Smith. “Rian is a branding expert who truly understands the guest experience. He has a love for fast-growing businesses, which he experienced with Skechers, Tecovas, and See’s Candy. With the growth Swig is going to experience in the coming years, we are excited to learn from Rian and watch his leadership further develop this great brand.”
In learning about the company, McCartan was inspired by Swig founder Nicole Tanner and her commitment to community.
“I love the authenticity of the Swig story,” McCartan said. “I also admire Nicole’s personal journey and her dedication to supporting women in the fight against breast cancer with the Save the Cups campaign.”
“I’m thrilled to have Rian McCartan as our new CEO,” Tanner said. “We were looking for someone who would mix in well with our energetic culture and who was also willing to work alongside the team in our stores where all the magic happens. Rian is a perfect fit! With his driven leadership, amazing experience, and exceptional care, Rian will help lead Swig to our next level of success.”
Swig, Home of the Original Dirty Soda, got its start in 2010 in Saint George, Utah. Owner and Founder Nicole Tanner was brainstorming one night about possible business ideas and came up with the idea for a drive-by customized beverage shop. From that small beginning, Swig has expanded to 45 stores in five states, becoming thousands of people’s go-to destination for drinks and sweets. Swig is part of Savory Fund, a management group that infuses exciting startup brands with capital and pairs them with its team of 65 industry veterans who have experience in everything from real estate, development and construction, store operations, procurement, technology, recruiting, training and finance. For more information, visit swigdrinks.com and follow Swig on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Savory Fund is an innovative private equity firm that combines over $600 million in assets under management with a growth playbook and expertise that has been developed over 15 years of operating in the restaurant industry. Savory partners with high-potential, profitable, emerging restaurant brands, to deliver financial capital, industry expertise, growth and revenue opportunities, profitability enhancements and new location development. The Savory team contributes directly to all aspects of growth and replication by using a proven playbook and methodology. Founder involvement in the expansion of a brand is a central theme of the Savory approach as founders carry the tribal knowledge around the uniqueness that has energized early success and is essential to future growth. The Savory Fund has invested in 10 brands: Swig, R&R BBQ, Pincho, Via 313 Pizzeria, The Crack Shack, Mo’ Bettahs Hawaiian Style Food, 86 Repairs, Saigon Hustle, Hash Kitchen, and now The Sicilian Butcher. For more information, visit SavoryFund.com.