TORONTO — The Canadian Business Growth Fund (CBGF) has made a minority growth equity investment in Stephano Group Ltd., a private label manufacturer of hot and cold cereals, nutrition bars, snacks and granola products. Financial terms of the investment were not disclosed.

Stephano Group said it plans to use proceeds from the investment to ramp up its sales and marketing efforts, expand its corporate infrastructure and grow its manufacturing capacity. The company currently operates two manufacturing sites across the greater Toronto area and has 10 production lines that produce a range of breakfast and snack products that include organic, Non-GMO, gluten-free, allergen-controlled, and kosher-certified capabilities.

Stephano Group said it has experienced rapid growth over the past five years, primarily through increased sales in retail and foodservice channels in both Canada and the United States. The company’s mission is to become a top producer of cereal and nutritional bar products in North America.

“We are very excited about this new chapter for Stephano Group,” said Noah Frank, president of Stephano Group. “This investment will allow the company to have more fluid growth and enable us to meet our growth targets over the next few years. We believe that along with their financial backing, the CBGF team provides a measure of support and guidance that will serve the company well over the coming years. We are thrilled to have them on board.”

Stephano Group was founded in Ottawa in 1978 when husband and wife Steve (Stephano) Frank and Annette Blaeske saw a need for innovative product offerings in the granola cereal marketplace. Together, they expanded the business into a CPG manufacturing company for the Canadian retail and foodservice sectors. By the 1990s, the second generation, Noah and Sean Frank, began working alongside their parents to help run the family business.

Stephano Group relocated to Toronto in 2009 and began focusing on its private label and contract manufacturing offerings.

“As our first family-owned and operated investment, we are extremely proud to partner with the Frank family as they continue on their mission of growing Stephano Group into a leading private label manufacturer of high-quality breakfast and snack products in North America,” said George Rossolatos, chief executive officer of CBGF. “We are excited to help the second-generation sons continue in their parents’ footsteps and believe they have the experience to execute on their bold plans for growth.”