C&S Wholesale Grocers said Wednesday that it has acquired FreshKO Produce Services, a Fresno, Calif.-based produce distributor.
The addition of FreshKO and its 142 employees is directly aligned with C&S’s commitment to expand its fresh and organic produce business and its continued emphasis on servicing independent retailers, Keene, N.H.-based C&S said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The acquisition comes amid increased interest in fresh and specialty distributors as a means of better servicing and merchandising stores. Earlier this week specialty distributor DPI was acquired by private equity firm Arbor Investments. Officials of United Natural Foods earlier this month said they were also looking at potential acquisitions of fresh and specialty distributors as it looks to improve offerings for its customers.
“FreshKO has built a highly successful service model that supports retailers in providing their customers with the best produce the region has to offer at competitive prices,” Rick Cohen, chairman and CEO of C&S, said in a statement. “The FreshKO team’s deep customer relationships and level of expertise in this market make this partnership ideal.”
Founded in 2002 by Randal Shepherd and Manny Robles, who have each spent more than 35 years in the produce industry, FreshKO provides high-quality produce and comprehensive customer support to approximately 650 customers throughout Central and Northern California.
The business will continue to operate under the FreshKO brand as a wholly owned subsidiary of C&S.
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