Barry Callebaut to buy chocolate decoration maker

by Jeff Gelski
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ZURICH, SWITZERLAND — Barry Callebaut has agreed to acquire 100% of Mona Lisa Food Products, Inc., a chocolate decorations product company in Hendersonville, N.C. The privately-owned company will be integrated into Barry Callebaut’s North American Gourmet & Specialties Products business.

Sales revenue for Mona Lisa Food Products approached $10 million in 2011. The company manufactures such chocolate and pastry decoration products as cups, curls, spoons, shavings and blossoms. The company serves such food industry segments as in-store bakeries, industrial bakeries, and businesses involved in hotels, restaurants and catering.

Peter Thom, owner and president of Mona Lisa Food Products, founded the company in 1987 in Salinas, Calif. It relocated in 1993 to Hendersonville, where it has a manufacturing facility.

“Since its inception, we have run Mona Lisa as a family business,” Mr. Thom said. “The growth and success of our brand has brought us to the time where it is best to hand the company over to a partner that can continue this success.”

Mona Lisa Food Products will complement the business activities of Barry Callebaut’s center of competence for chocolate decorations in Zundert, The Netherlands.

“The acquisition of Mona Lisa Food Products, Inc. is another step to broaden our knowledge and to accelerate the growth of our Gourmet & Specialties Products business,” said Juergen B. Steinemann, chief executive officer of Zurich-based Barry Callebaut. “As a part of Barry Callebaut, the company will strengthen our global market position for chocolate decorations and serve as our dedicated center of competence in the U.S.”

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