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Plaza Belmont Fund III LP, a middle market private equity firm in Shawnee Mission, Kan., and several other investors have acquired Labriola Baking Co., an Alsip, Ill., producer of fresh and frozen artisan breads. Terms of the private transaction were not disclosed. Excluded from the transaction is the Labriola Bakery Café in Oak Brook, Ill.
Founded in 1993 by Rich Labriola, Labriola supplies fresh artisan bread through its own distribution network of 25 routes to hotels, restaurants and retail stores from Milwaukee all the way through the Chicago area to Indianapolis. The company reportedly has experienced tremendous growth in the past three years with its nationally available specialty frozen pretzel bread.
“The rationale for the sale was to create a partnership that not only brings additional financial resources to Labriola, but extensive industry expertise as well,” says Labriola, who continues to participate in the ownership of the company and serves as vice chairman, chief innovation officer. “As I have been working with Plaza Belmont to put this transaction together, I am confident I have found the right partners to accomplish the growth I envision for the company. It also helps me free up resources to allow me to continue to grow and expand the Labriola Bakery Cafes beyond the current single-store location.”
Rob Burch, who joined Labriola in 2010 as chief operating officer becomes president.
“We are extremely impressed with the breadth and quality of the products that Rich has created,” says Bob Parnow, president of Plaza Belmont, who also serves as chairman and CEO of Labriola. “The products are recognized by their customers as being the best available and this has allowed them to develop one of the most desired customer lists a company can have in the food business today.”