*Manufaturing Expansion into 6 new states
*Increase in Production Capacity for Tinctures line
*Thriving Private label business
*Brand Ambassador is Leonard Marshall, former NY Giant
WSA: Good day from Wall Street. This is Juan Costello, Senior Analyst with the Wall Street Analyzer, joining us today is Tony Torgerud, CEO of Apple Rush Company, Inc. The company trades over-the-counter; ticker symbol APRU. Thanks for joining us today there Tony.
Tony Torgerud: Thank you for having me.
WSA: Yeah. Sure. So for some of our listeners that are new to your story, can you provide us with an overview and intro of the company.
Tony Torgerud: Yeah. You know, Apple Rush Company is a diversified company that actually produces — our flagship products are Apple Rush 100% sparkling juice. It is sold all across the country in the North, the Midwest, the South, and it’s moving into the northeast right now so we’re expanding that. Apple Rush has been around since 1972 and we revived it and relaunched the product in January of 2018. We produced 17,000 cases of the juice in our first production run and we’ve done a total of 50,000 cases in the last like 16 months. So it’s growing well and the product is doing really, really well all across all sectors. We have it in grocery, convenience, we’ve got it in bars and restaurants. Some big box companies are looking at us right now and it’s just going really, really well.
WSA: So this is a drink or sparkling type of drink?
Tony Torgerud: Yeah, it’s a 100% juice it’s based on apple juice, it’s called Apple Rush and we have four flavors. It’s apple, black cherry, blueberry and pomegranate. They’re 100% juice, they’re all natural sparkling, no added sugar, vegan, gluten-free, no preservatives in them. They are pasteurized products; it’s sold in glass bottles. Retails for about $2.99 a bottle and we’ve sold it on Amazon at $60 per 12 pack as well, because the freight costs so much and it’s really expensive selling on Amazon. But it’s doing extremely well, we’re excited about it we’re in Lucky’s Market, we’re in the Schnucks grocery stores in St. Louis, we’re in the Dierbergs grocery stores in St. Louis, we are in I think about 40 or 50 locations up in the North Dakota market. We’re expanding into Minnesota right now, we’ll be taking up some things in Wisconsin. We signed a deal in New Jersey and we’ll be launching in New Jersey over the next couple of weeks, you know, it’s going very, very well. Lucky’s Market is based out of Colorado and we’re in all of the Florida, Lucky’s Market. So it’s doing well.
WSA: So, yeah it’s about $5 a pop for the drink and you are able to increase your fiscal year results year over year. Can you bring us up to speed on some of your most recent news and results?
Tony Torgerud: Yeah, well we’re doing some expansion in manufacturing, we have manufacturing plant and we do nutraceuticals and, you know, chewables and some oil, tincture oils and things like that that we manufacture, and we do a bunch of private label stuff. So the private label business has been contributing a lot to our increased revenues and it will increase our bottom line as well because the margins are a lot greater in that area. And, you know, our biggest customers that pan away probably out of Virginia right now, and we do a bunch of different products for them. And we developed a few new different products for them as well. And we have MJNA,the Cannawayproduct, the Cannapick [Phonetic] [00:03:52] we manufacture.
And we are expanding that base dramatically. That’s where the profit growth is going to come from; the volume growth is going to come out of the Apple Rush juice product because the velocity on it is pretty high, so we’re doing extremely well in that category. And with a couple of deals that we’re working on right now, it could grow exponentially over the next six to twelve months for sure.
WSA: Sure. So, yeah you brought in Leonard Marshall formerly of the New York Giants Super Bowl XXV winner into the mix there as brand ambassador and I guess he’s more for the CBD side or are you trying to incorporate that into your branding? Can you talk a little bit more about what the branding.
Tony Torgerud: Yeah, Leonard is, you know, a very great asset for us. He has been a strong proponent in the CBD business. He was with the Elixinol and he left Elixinol and came to us. He really likes our juice product line, and also he is helping us expand the Apple Rush drink, and he has helped us getting into the New England market already. And we are going to be doing some additional marketing things, you know, with Leonard and doing some trade shows and some autograph, you know, things probably in the future. It’s going to be an exciting thing for us. I’ve spent several days with him working the field, and we’re excited to have him on board. He’s just a really, really great guy. He has got a lot of good contacts, he is one of the greatest businessman I’ve met; really, really a great asset to the team for sure.
WSA: Great. So, yeah what are some of the main company goals and milestones that you’re looking out here with the next few months? So what can we look forward to?
Tony Torgerud: We’re looking to expand into about half a dozen more states with the Apple Rush product and we are looking to increase our productions capacity in our tincture lines. Right now we’re running approximately 20 or 25,000 15 milliliter bottles every week out of production plant here. And we’d like to get that up around 75,000 bottles a week. So, you know, we’re growing that business that’s just a really, really great market for us. There’s not a lot of guys that can, you know, do some of the things that we are doing, we’ve converted some extraction into water. And I was in the lab actually today working on finalizing our water soluble CBD product which is a pretty exciting product that we’re working on right now.
WSA: Sure. And what are some of the other key trends in the sector that you’re attempting to capitalize on?
Tony Torgerud: Well, over the next 12 months—apple juice is really, really a hot product right now. Apples for some reason due to the nutritional value and everything else a lot of people are, you know, going towards the apple juice sector. It’s growing dramatically and so the Apple Rush drink I think is just really a great opportunity. It’s at the market at the right time being an all-natural lightly sparkling juice. And the CBD products that we do we’re going to – we’ve already tested the CBD infused Apple Rush blueberry product. That’s what I’m actually working on today doing my own formulation for it. I sourced the water soluble CBD and did our first production with it, and like it, and I’m doing it on my own currently and, you know, hopefully maybe by the end of today I’ll have something to say about how that’s going actually, it’s been an exciting little process. And in the other nutraceutical space there’s kava, anything that is in the alternative, you know, categories for people for health, we’re working in those areas to make everything frompain salve to deodorant soap, tinctures, chewables, vapor oils, pain salveslip balm, you name it and we’ve made many, many different products and we’re bringing them to market. I’ve even made some, you know, hot chocolate products and different things like that, that have been really, really well received through our test market. So it’s exciting we’ve got a lot of things going on.
WSA: So what are some of the key factors Tony that you feel make Apple Rush uniquely positioned to capitalize on some of those trends?
Tony Torgerud: Well Apple Rush is a real business first and foremost, most of the penny stocks that are out there as you’re aware of don’t have any business. They don’t have anything to sell and if you don’t have anything to sell it’s hard to make revenue. And, you know, we started from the other side of the coin and we’ve made the products and we started selling them and we’re growing the business from the sale side of things. And we’re adding people as we need in order to facilitate that growth in sales. So we went from, in the first six months of business like we did around $455,000 in revenue and we did $715,000 in the first full year of business after that.
So, we’re growing and we’re doing it with a small staff, we are not burning excess, capital. It’s growing very well, we’re excited about where we’re at and we will be making more announcements because we fit in there, we do our own manufacturing, and we do all of our own production, we do all of our own development. We do everything from the ground up, and if we can’t make something, you know, we’ll co-pact with somebody else, but it will be our formulation that we’re going to be on-sight when the production is made and everything else. So, we’ve just got a lot more capabilities because we have a bunch of assets and we have a real business.
WSA: Sure, and perhaps you can talk about your background experience Tony and who the key management team is there?
Tony Torgerud: And so, yeah I have Leonard Marshall helping me in on an advisory capacity and then there’s myself. I’m the only executive with the company right now, I am very shortly going to be adding a financial person, a key financial officer and expanding so that I don’t have to work all the hats anymore. Growth has dictated that that person is necessary at this point and we will be making an announcement shortly into that category as well. We have a National Sales Manager up in North Dakota who is Terry Barnaby. We’ve got a National Trainer down here in Florida, she trains all of our sales reps and that’s Ronda Shields, and then we have Keith Torgerud and Megan Golden who take care of a lot of our production and shipping, and receiving, and warehousing and things like that at our facility here. And, you know, my wife even comes in once in a while and gives us a hand, so it’s been a lot of fun. It’s growing well and business is coming and, you know, people are seeking us out, we’re getting calls and that’s what’s important.
WSA: So, yeah you mentioned that, you know, some of the other penny stocks, you know, that are not making sales. The company is currently is under a penny of shares so with that being said why do you believe, what do you think investors are missing from the story or what do you want them to better understand about you guys or why you think you’re undervalued?
Tony Torgerud: Well, I think we’re undervalued, because you know, a typical penny stocks from everybody that I know that trades them, they buy them and get out as fast as they can because they, you know, it’s seems they run, they get out because most of the time they’re grown liquid securities. And it’s usually because they’re just selling a story and they’re not selling anything other than a story.
And we’re a little bit different. You know, our stock ran up to $0.06 last May and it was due to our announcements that we were in St. St. Louis and working with Schnucks and Dierbergs. And it took us a little bit longer to get that off the ground due to time to get the distributor on board and get everything rolling, but, you know, we got it on board, we made that announcement originally in May of last year, and we signed their agreement, I think or shipped our first product in February of this year. So it took like nine months just to get products in to St. Louis. Sometimes that happens, we try not to make that be a habit, if it takes nine months to get a distributor, it slows down progress but, you know, we have a real business model and we’re selling product and we’re out there every day hustling to grow the business on a daily basis. We distribute several product lines as well and each one of those product lines brings something unique to what we do and our customer base. And being that we manufacture a lot of what we do as well it makes it much more profitable.
WSA: Great. So once again joining as today is Tony Torgerud the CEO for Apple Rush Company, Inc. which trades over the counter ticker symbol APRU. Has a market cap north of a hundred fifty-five million. So before we conclude here Tony, to recap some of your key points here, why do you believe investors should consider the company as a good investment opportunity today?
Tony Torgerud: Well I think it’s a good investment opportunity because we’re growing. One of the things that isn’t reflected when you look at our market cap, I actually have purchased all of the Livewire stocks basically back from Livewire. All the APRU stocks that they held and I have it in my possession it’s just is in order to get the medallion guarantee on it, it’s a really expensive proposition so I’m working with the CEO of Livewire to come in and actually go straight to the transfer agency with the cancelation. I have the certificates in my possession and I’ve got the contract that’s signed, I’ve paid for them and everything else, so realistically when that is all completed we’ll actually have under 5 billion shares issued and outstanding. It’s being recorded as 20 billion right now but that’s because 15 plus billion of it was owned by Livewire that I bought back.
So that’s why it’s skewed a little bit as to the market cap and everything else. And I think that if the general investor out there knows that we have the possession of those certificates and it’s just a process of getting them finally cancelled. As soon as they’re cancelled it will be reflected properly in the financials from whatnot. So that’s going to give us the biggest bump probably in what we have. And then we’re going to continue to go out and open new stores, we’re working with several large chain stores to put products into. And as soon as we get anything, you know, solidified and we shipped we’ll make those announcements. But those announcements are going to be big enough that they will for sure justify a much higher stock price than what we have. We’re also working on a couple of the private labeled contracts and we’ll be making an announcement on a very large, you know, private label licensing deal that we’ve been finalizing. And as soon as we can make that announcement that will come up as well.
WSA: Well we certainly look forward to continuing to track your company’s progress and future interviews with you. And we’d like to thank you for taking the time to join us today Tony and provide an update of APRU to our investor audience. It was good having you on.
Tony Torgerud: Sounds good. Thanks for having me I appreciate it.
About APRU, LLC: About The Apple Rush Co., Inc.
The Apple Rush Company, Inc., through its subsidiary APRU, LLC, is a distributor of cpg products under the trademarked Apple Rush brand and other labels. The Apple Rush brand has more than 40 years of existence in the natural beverage industry. As a historical leader in the organic and natural beverage sector our goal is to also become the leader in the distribution of anhydrous hemp oil products nationwide. For more information, please go to www.applerush.com.
About APRU, LLC: APRU, LLC focuses on the development and sales of all natural Apple Rush sparkling juices, and research and development, of premium hemp extracts that contain a broad range of cannabinoids and natural hemp derivatives and other active ingredients such as our exclusive agathos active, kratom, kava, blue lotus, and ginseng. www.aprullc.com or on Twitter @RealAPRU_News.
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