Arbor acquires frozen cookie dough maker

by Eric Schroeder
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South Coast Baking Co. cookie dough and cookies, Arbor
South Coast Baking is a frozen cookie dough manufacturer that supplies club stores, grocery retailers, food service distributors and quick-service restaurants.

CHICAGO — Arbor Investments, whose portfolio of companies includes Mister Cookie Face, New French Bakery and DPI Specialty Foods, Inc., is continuing the build-out of its baking platform with the acquisition of Irvine, Calif.-based South Coast Baking, L.L.C. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 2011 by baking industry veteran Kent Hayden, South Coast is a frozen cookie dough manufacturer that operates out of two manufacturing facilities strategically located in Irvine and Springdale, Ark. The company offers three lines of cookies — Big Kahuna, Beachcomber and Walea — that are supplied to club stores, grocery retailers, food service distributors and quick-service restaurants.

Brody Lynn, Arbor
Brody Lynn, v.p. of Arbor

“South Coast is a critical piece to our long-term strategy in the baking segment,” said Brody Lynn, vice-president of Arbor. “Kent and his team have built a tremendous company with high-quality products and a customer-driven culture that will fit seamlessly into our baking platform.”

South Coast will join Arbor’s baking platform, Le Petit Pain Holdings, which includes New French Bakery, Inc., Best Maid Cookie Company, Inc. and Hudson Baking Company, Inc. The Le Petit Pain platform is overseen by Mike Schultz, operating partner with Arbor. Mr. Schultz is a 20-year executive in the baking industry, having served in executive positions at CSM Bakery Products and Best Brands Corp.

Mike Schultz, Arbor
Mike Schultz, operating partner with Arbor

“The addition of South Coast transforms Le Petit Pain into a formidable player in the North American baking landscape,” Mr. Schultz said. “The company’s complementary product offering and strategic manufacturing locations will create significant opportunities to expand the platform’s geographic reach across all product categories.”

Founded in 1999, Arbor Investments is a specialized private equity firm that focuses exclusively on acquiring companies in the food, beverage and related industries. The firm has acquired or invested in more than 44 food, beverage and related companies in North America.

Arbor acquired Hudson Baking last fall after earlier in 2015 selling its stake in Gold Standard Baking to private equity firm Tricor Pacific Capital. In 2014, Arbor acquired Best Maid Cookie Co.
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