Riot Foods co-founders Ryan Kamins (left) and Art Green (right) (Screenshot: Vimeo)
Riot Foods co-founders Ryan Kamins (left) and Art Green (right) (Screenshot: Vimeo)

BusinessNovember 13, 2018

CleanPaleo co-founder steps down citing alcohol addiction

Riot Foods co-founders Ryan Kamins (left) and Art Green (right) (Screenshot: Vimeo)
Riot Foods co-founders Ryan Kamins (left) and Art Green (right) (Screenshot: Vimeo)

Riot Foods co-founders Art Green and Ryan Kamins recently revealed to The Spinoff the gruelling challenges the company had faced over the last six months. Today, with the future of company’s equity crowd raise remaining uncertain, Kamins announced his resignation as CEO citing months of severe alcohol addiction.

More than a month since it was reported that Riot Foods (parent company of CleanPaleo and Poppy & Olive) needed to raise $1 million in a matter of weeks or risk being sold, its CEO and director Ryan Kamins announced that he would be stepping down.

In a letter posted to his personal Instagram account this morning, Kamins explained that after several weeks of looking to raise money to secure Riot Foods’ future, the company received permission from crowdfunding platform PledgeMe on November 6 to launch an equity crowd raise “pending some suggested enhancements”. Following the news, Kamins said that he checked himself into a rehabilitation facility for detox, citing months of severe alcohol addiction.

“In April this year, I was hospitalised and monitored for severe headaches over seven days, which was diagnosed as most likely being due to stress,” Kamins wrote in the letter addressed to staff, shareholders, friends and family.

“In hindsight, this was also likely due to substance and alcohol withdrawal. Since then my health has continued to deteriorate and I became a severe alcoholic, but continued to do my best to lead Riot through its many challenges that it had, and that it was facing.”

“I write this letter from an addiction treatment facility. I have completed the medically monitored seven-day alcohol detox process, and it was my intention to lead our second successful PledgeMe raise while proceeding through ongoing recovery.”

“No one but a few close friends were aware of my addiction, and understandably, there is now doubt from the Board and Shareholders as to whether the public equity raising process should continue.”


In early October, Kamins and Riot Foods co-founder Art Green (of ex-Bachelor NZ fame) told The Spinoff that the company had faced numerous challenges over the last six months that put the company in a precarious financial position. These challenges included having its Australian supplier of biltong go into receivership halfway through its first order, subsequently causing it to lose its 800-store deal with supermarket chain Coles. It was also forced to throw away all its equipment at its new factory after a fumigation/sterilisation company caused the entire facility to rust over.

“I believe continuing and completing the PledgeMe capital raise process will give the best result to all of our stakeholders in the short and long term,” Kamins continued in his letter. “I am more than willing to work in whatever capacity I can to assist the Chairman and the rest of the Board to achieve and finish this process for our shareholders, if they wish to progress.”

“But for now, my personal recovery needs to come first. I no longer want to live life as an addict the way I have been, and I hope that in regard to my relationship of leading Riot Foods, that this is just a see you later, and not a goodbye.”

Kamins and Green have both been contacted for further comment.

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