The Bakery Cos. (TBC) announced that they have entered into a partnership with Arbor Investments, a specialized private equity firm that focuses exclusively on investing in premier companies within the food and beverage industries. Founded in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1996 by Cordia and Tom Harrington and recognized as one of the Top 50 Fastest Growing Woman-Owned Businesses, The Bakery Cos. manufactures a diverse line of fresh and frozen breads, baked goods and dough products for leading foodservice, food manufacturing and retail customers. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
With this partnership, The Bakery Cos. founder, “Bun Lady” Cordia Harrington will unite with baking industry veterans Yianny and George Caparos. Cordia will continue as Chief Executive Officer of the Company, with Yianny Caparos being appointed President and George Caparos becoming Chief Development Officer. The Caparos brothers bring more than two decades of baking leadership expertise, including prior partnerships with Arbor in Gold Standard Baking and Rise Baking.
“For over 20 years, my family and our leadership have been committed to building trusted relationships with our customers, associates and the community around us,” stated Harrington. “As we look to accelerate our growth, we are thrilled to be partnering and investing with Arbor and the Caparos brothers. Not only do we get to partner with industry experts like Yianny and George, but also with Arbor, the most accomplished private equity investor in the baking space. Together, we will invest in the infrastructure and facilities we need to write an exciting next chapter for our company.”
“My brother and I have known and admired Cordia for decades,” commented Yianny Caparos. “We have tremendous respect for the business she has built and are thrilled to collaborate and invest with her and her outstanding team. As we enter our third partnership with Arbor, we’re eager to continue growing The Bakery Cos., bringing new ideas and innovation to meet the ever-changing needs of our customers.”
Commenting on the new partnership, Arbor partner Chris Tuffin stated, “Cordia is an impressive entrepreneur, and the purpose-driven organization she has built, together with a relentless focus on quality and customer service, has earned them an exceptional reputation in the baking trade. We look forward to supplementing the company’s existing foundation with our collective resources to accelerate growth – both organically and through further partnerships and acquisitions.
Echoing Tuffin’s comments, Arbor co-founder and CEO, Gregory Purcell said, “I’ve known Cordia since 1998 and have witnessed her incredible achievements. This three-way partnership is a perfect fit for Arbor, given our history and success investing in baking and partnering with dynamic entrepreneurs like Cordia and Yianny. It’s a potent combo. The Bakery Cos. lays the foundation, giving us the talent required to build a new powerhouse in baking manufacturing.”
Arbor’s nine prior baking related investments include: Rise Baking (New French Bakery, Best Maid Cookie Co., Hudson Baking, South Coast Baking, Choice Foods), Pita Bread Factory, Gold Standard Baking, Mexican Accent and Great Kitchens.
The transaction marks Arbor’s fifth platform investment out of Arbor Fund IV. Winston & Strawn served as Arbor’s legal counsel in connection with the transaction. Bass, Berry & Sims served as legal counsel for The Bakery Cos.