Private equity firm snags stake in specialty foods maker

Private equity firm snags stake in specialty foods maker

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco Equity Partners (SFEP) has acquired a majority stake in Petaluma, Calif.-based Rustic Bakery, a producer of organic and specialty foods, including crackers, crisps, cookies and biscuits. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Founded in 2005 by Carol LeValley and her husband Josh Harris, Rustic Bakery makes its organic, non-GMO products with locally sourced ingredients at its Petaluma production facility. The company’s products are sold in more than 5,000 stores in North America, including conventional and natural grocery, club, e-commerce, specialty and foodservice outlets. Rustic Bakery also operates four cafes in Marin, Calif.

“Rustic Bakery is a strong, authentic brand built on exceptionally high quality,” said Scott Potter, managing partner at SFEP. “We see a significant opportunity to expand the brand’s product portfolio, distribution and customer base, and look forward to bringing our strategic and operational resources to bear as we partner with the company on its next phase of growth.”

Ms. LeValley, chief executive officer of Rustic Bakery, added, “SFEP has great experience building authentic consumer brands and scaling manufacturing businesses in high-growth product categories. We’re excited to partner with them to continue to build the brand, accelerate the business and delight our customers with more great offerings.”

SFEP’s portfolio includes Brazi Bites, a provider of “better-for-you” Latin American-inspired frozen foods; Red Monkey Foods, a Springfield, Mo.-based provider of organic spices, seasonings, salt products and other natural dry food products; and San Francisco Salt Co., a specialty salt provider that operates as a subsidiary of Red Monkey Foods.