Fresh Harvest acquires AC LaRocco Pizza Co.

by Eric Schroeder
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NEW YORK — Fresh Harvest Products, Inc., a developer and marketer of natural and organic products, has acquired Spokane, Wash.-based AC LaRocco Pizza Co., a 12-year-old privately held maker of organic and natural frozen foods. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“The completion of this acquisition represents a significant step for Fresh Harvest in our strategy to accelerate growth in our business,” said Michael J. Friedman, chief executive officer of Fresh Harvest. “Today, we significantly increased the depth and breadth of our products, sales and distribution across the nation into retailers such as Kroger (certain divisions), H-E-B, Albertsons (certain regions) and further enhances our foothold with the largest natural food retailer in the U.S.”

Mr. Friedman said the addition of AC LaRocco — which will add approximately $1.5 million in annual sales — should complement Fresh Harvest’s internal growth of its Wings of Nature brand. In addition the acquisition is expected to add an expanded customer base, as well as help Fresh Harvest establish a presence in the West and Midwest, he said.

“We are now squarely focused on quickly seizing the attractive opportunities this transaction has created for us to increase top-line growth as well as achieving significant cost synergies in general and administrative expenses,” Mr. Friedman said. “With the acquisition now complete, Fresh Harvest is a stronger, more broadly based company than ever before, with increased capacity to reach new customers and the ability to provide current customers with enhanced products.”

Fresh Harvest Products offers a line of organic snack products and beverages, which include health bars, coffee bars under the Wings of Nature name and beverages under the TeAloe name. The company also has a grocery product line, which includes several varieties of whole bean and ground coffees, and beverages. For the fiscal year ended Oct. 31, 2009, Fresh Harvest sustained a loss of $756,425 on sales of $87,502, which compared with a loss of $1,362,969 and sales of $249,639 in the year-ago period. The decrease in revenues was attributed to lack of capital to support the purchasing of inventory.
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