Table Talk Pies of Worcester, MA, has officially completed the acquisition of the assets of Acton Vale-based Pâtisserie Gaudet, which was previously under the management of trustee Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton after being placed under the protection of the Creditors Arrangement Act. Gaudet was at one time a major player in the Canadian pie and tart market but has unfortunately fallen on hard times in recent years. With this transaction, which closed on Dec. 22, Table Talk hopes to return the closed facility to its key position in the Canadian sweet goods industry.

"We intend to reopen the Gaudet plant to make pies for the Canadian market again and we will work closely with the former employees, as well as local and provincial authorities, to try to get this plant back up and running as quickly as possible," said Harry Kokkinis, president of Table Talk Pies.

To that end, Table Talk has retained the plant's former general manager, Georges Berbari, to help lead the effort to reopen the plant. Management and production will remain in Quebec, according to Berbari, who added that he was speaking on behalf of the owners of Table Talk, whose three U.S. plants, with 300 employees, already produce nearly 250 million tarts and 25 million pies a year; products that are distributed in all 50 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Canada.

"There is no question that the Acton Vale plant's operations will be relocated to Table Talk Pies' three U.S. plants," said Berbari, who is excited about strengthening Pâtisserie Gaudet's position in Quebec and Canada by creating a strong synergy between the two companies. It was this potential synergy that attracted Table Talk Pies to the Pâtisserie Gaudet plant in the first place. "We are excited about the prospect of bringing together Gaudet's tradition of excellence and Table Talk Pies' long-standing commitment to quality," which the new buyer says will be a winning combination. To capture this synergy, a new company was created, Table Talk Canada, located in Acton Vale.

"With this new company, we look forward to serving Canadian customers with pies and tarts from the Quebec plant and made to the same high-quality standards that North American customers have come to know and love," concluded Kokkinis and Berbari.

Table Talk was saddened at the time by the news of this company's closure, despite the fact that it was a competitor, and was aware of the impact that the closure of a major regional employer would have on employees, their families, and the community at large. That's when the company immediately began to get active, continued Table Talk Pies leaders, to see how they could help counteract the unfortunate consequences in this situation. Table Talk worked closely with Raymond Chabot, the bankruptcy trustee, to work out a deal that helped the creditors of the bankrupt company and was also economically beneficial to Table Talk.

"We are confident that this will help this facility regain its stature in the Canadian baking industry," concluded Table Talk executives.