Investar acquires Celebrity Cafe & Bakery

by Eric Schroeder
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DALLAS — Investar, a family-owned venture capital firm, announced it has acquired Celebrity Cafe & Bakery, a longtime Dallas-based company known for its decorated sugar cookies. The transaction was led by former la Madeleine president Mark Menking.

The purchase price for the cafe and bakery group, which has five company-owned stores and five franchise locations throughout North Texas, was not disclosed. Investar has purchased all assets of the company-owned locations and franchise rights for the five franchise locations.

"We were drawn to the great culture and following the Harris family has created: tradition, devotion to customers, an excellent staff of loyal long-term employees and a great menu featuring simple foods done very well," said Juan Muldoon, vice-chairman and managing director of Investar and former president of Bimbo Bakeries USA. "Celebrity fits very well with our strategy of partnering quality brands with quality management teams."

Barbara Harris, who founded Celebrity Cafe & Bakery with her husband Bill in 1989, said it was time "to launch a new chapter in our lives" following 28 years in the business.

Mr. Menking will provide overall strategic direction for Celebrity, while day-to-ay operations of Celebrity Cafe & Bakery will be led by restaurant-industry veteran Brian Benedict, who previously was with Cafe Brazil, Tempest Tea and la Madeleine, where he held both product development and operational responsibilities.

"There will be a strong commitment on building and developing a solid team dedicated to exceeding the expectations of our guests," Mr. Benedict said.

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