Tony’s chocolates have made their mark in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe. It’s also grown its presence across the U.S. in the last few years. 

Now the brand has caught the eye of Starbucks founder and former CEO Howard Schultz.   

The celebrated (and at times, controversial) ex-chief bought a minority 2% stake at the Dutch chocolatier on Wednesday, Tony’s said. 

Talks of the deal have been in the works for a while, and come at a time when Tony’s has experienced rapid growth in the U.S. The company’s sales have quadrupled in the States since 2020, and is likely to continue expanding across mainstream retailers. It’s already available at Walmart and other brick-and-mortar stores in America. 

“Tony’s rapid revenue growth, rising popularity with US consumers and increased investor interest demonstrates that building a company that balances shareholder returns with its impact on people and planet is not only the right thing to do but the smart thing to do for companies today,” Tony’s CEO Douglas Lamont said in a statement.  

The Dutch company prides itself in putting impact above selling chocolates. Through its packaging and marketing campaigns, Tony’s raises awareness about exploitation in the cocoa industry and has called out big chocolate companies in the past for not doing enough to address human rights concerns. 

Outside of the U.S., Britain has also been a fast-growing geography for the Tony’s brand even in a very competitive chocolate market. Just last year, Tony’s raised €20 million ($21.7 million) in equity capital to grow in “multiple markets.”

Seeing as the interest around companies engaged in social impact has risen along with demand, Tony’s said it’s dedicating part of its 2023 capital injection into doubling down on its U.S. operations.     

This isn’t Schultz’s first investment in fast-moving consumer goods—he’s also invested in Oatly and Cumulus Coffee, although none of his prior known investments were in chocolatiers.

The announcement of Schultz’s stake comes amid stratospheric cocoa prices, which have resulted in more expensive chocolate for consumers. The dire situation has been impacted by a mix of factors including unfavorable weather conditions and a supply crunch at the cocoa hubs of the world.

Tony’s has hiked prices in some of its markets in response to cocoa inflation, the company’s U.K. and Ireland boss Ben Greensmith told Fortune last month. The company is still working out ways to help farmers benefit from the price increases in cocoa, although the industry’s middlemen have made it a trickier problem to navigate. 

The raging cocoa prices don’t seem to be holding consumers back—at least not Tony’s Chocolonely loyalists. That’s probably why Tony’s is confident about its bet in the U.S., aiming to reach 20% more stores in the next year.

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