Jul 1, 2021
Presence in Tennessee and Southeast US boosted as Valley Produce joins FreshEdge

Valley Produce, a distributor of fresh produce and specialty products, has joined FreshEdge, a family of produce and specialty food companies backed by Rotunda Capital Partners.

The addition further diversifies the group’s combined customer base, and increases its breadth and depth of service offerings in Tennessee and the southeastern U.S. Valley is part of a growing family that includes Piazza Produce & Specialty Foods, Indianapolis Fruit, Get Fresh, McCartney Produce, Leonardo’s Produce, Garden Cut, CIBUS Fresh and Papania’s.
FreshEdge now operates with 1,430 employees and approximately 600,000 square feet of warehouse space, and a fleet of more than 600 trucks.

 

“We are excited for Valley to join our family of ‘Best in Class’ fresh food distribution companies that are supported by our vertically integrated value-added operations,” Steve Grinstead, CEO of FreshEdge, said in a news release.

Terms of the deal, which closed on June 30, 2021, were not disclosed. The transaction strengthens the combined business’s presence in eastern Tennessee and enables continued expansion into the broader southeastern U.S.

“We welcome the Valley team and are excited to have them join FreshEdge,” said Greg Corsaro, president and COO of FreshEdge. “Adding Valley to our family of companies greatly enhances our ability to serve retail and foodservice customers throughout the Mid-South and Southeast.”

Founded in the early 1980s, Valley distributes fresh produce and specialty products to foodservice customers from its facility near Knoxville, Tennessee. Mark Stansberry will continue to lead Valley as president, and the company’s operations will carry on from its current facility.

“By joining FreshEdge, Valley will expand its selection of specialty items and add fresh cut processed products such as fresh salads, sandwiches, and healthy snack items – while continuing to provide exceptional customer service to our current and future customers,” said Stansberry. “We look forward to this new era of opportunity and growth for Valley.”

FreshEdge is backed by Rotunda Capital Partners, a Bethesda, Maryland-based private equity firm that invests equity capital in established lower middle-market companies. Rotunda provides opportunities for management teams to reach strategic, financial, and operational objectives.

Rotunda entered the food business in 2017 with the acquisition of Indianapolis Fruit and Piazza Produce. FreshEdge was created in 2019 when Get Fresh joined the platform. Valley represents FreshEdge’s fifth acquisition since Rotunda’s initial investment. Together, Rotunda and FreshEdge intend to continue expanding FreshEdge by welcoming more companies into the group—all focused on high quality produce and specialty food products, along with exceptional service—to create a unique team of complementary entities.

FreshEdge was formed in 2019 through the combination of Get Fresh Produce (founded 1982) and the IF&P Foods family of companies, primarily composed of Indianapolis Fruit (founded 1947) and Piazza Produce (founded 1970). Collectively, the three leading fresh food distribution companies have nearly 150 years of combined experience serving the grocery and food service industries.

In addition, FreshEdge includes two Garden Cut branded fresh-cut processing facilities, a tomato re-packer, a USDA fresh kitchen (CIBUS Fresh), and two transportation companies. FreshEdge’s fleet resource includes 620 trucks servicing the Midwest and beyond from nine facilities totaling approximately 600,000 square feet of warehouse space.

Today, FreshEdge is one of the largest independent fresh food distributors in the United States and a category leader in providing both the foodservice and retail industries with fruit, vegetables, proteins, fresh grab-n-go offerings, dairy, floral, and specialty products.

Rotunda Capital Partners is a private equity firm that invests equity capital in established, lower middle market companies. Rotunda partners with management to build data-driven growth platforms within its targeted sectors, including value-added distribution, asset light logistics and industrial/business services. Founded in 2009, the firm has a long history of helping management teams achieve their goals for growth.

The Rotunda team actively provides guidance and draws on deep industry and financial relationships to contribute to the successful execution of Rotunda’s companies’ strategic plans.

The firm has offices in Bethesda, Maryland, and Evanston, Illinois. For more information, visit here.




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