When La Tortilla Manufacturing facility’s president and CEO Jeff Ahlers on Jan. 27 finalized the sale of a majority stake in Jose and Mary Tamayo’s Santa Rosa-based firm to an out-of-state meals enterprise, it was a deal that had been nicely thought out.
Over practically 45 years, the Tamayos had grown their food-manufacturing enterprise from serving Northern California eating places and grocery shops, to a nationwide enterprise that had the potential to go greater. However they didn’t have the means to make that occur. Ahlers, who sat on the corporate’s board of administrators for a yr earlier than being named president and CEO in 2014, had the expertise to steer them ahead. The 30-year meals trade veteran had been concerned in enterprise transactions at different family-owned firms, and in addition held management roles at bigger operations, together with Safeway and Save Mart Supermarkets’ Fortunate Shops division.
If the Tamayo household had simply needed to promote out for probably the most they may get, it will not have been troublesome, Ahlers mentioned. However the purpose was to proceed to develop La Tortilla Manufacturing facility, preserve its workers and preserve its reference to the neighborhood.
The household in the end bought the bulk stake of La Tortilla Manufacturing facility to Idaho-based Flagship Meals Group. Monetary phrases of the deal weren’t disclosed, however they plan to retain minority possession and seats on La Tortilla Manufacturing facility’s board.
“The primary factor for them via this, and for myself, was that we have to discover the appropriate companion that we are able to reside with ongoing,” he mentioned, including he would advise any household enterprise wishing to maintain a minority curiosity the identical method. “For the Tamayos, my counsel was you’re solely going to do that as soon as, so be sure to’re actually, actually clear about what’s essential to you.”
The Tamayos confronted a dilemma many household companies do: whether or not they can develop their firm with out promoting to a different enterprise or an investor. The experiences range, leaving some glad and others wishing they’d by no means bought.
In July 2016, Chris and Terry Martin bought Taylor Maid Farms, a wholesale and retail coffee-roasting enterprise that started in 1991 on a 100-acre natural farm alongside Taylor Lane in Occidental, in west Sonoma County. The customer was InHouse Ventures, a Healdsburg-based funding fund, Chris Martin mentioned.
On the time, promoting the corporate made sense, Chris Martin mentioned, as a result of he was concerned in a number of different enterprise ventures, some persevering with to today. He owns Howard Station Cafe, a restaurant in Occidental, and is co-owner of Loring Sensible Roast, a industrial coffee-roasting producer in Santa Rosa.
“I used to be having a tough time operating Taylor Maid and doing all the pieces in Occidental on the farm. However I made board conferences, and I had a CEO (Rob Daly) operating it,” Martin mentioned. “We had been taking the subsequent step, which might be chilly brew, however to do all that was going to be fairly expensive.”
Martin mentioned he was lined as much as get a mortgage, however in the end determined to promote.
“I used to be overwhelmed with so many different tasks that I used to be form of form of OK with it,” he mentioned. “It was both (promote) or I used to be going to have to return in and run extra of the enterprise myself.”
If he had it to do over, Martin mentioned, he would have stored Taylor Maid Farms (since renamed Taylor Lane Farms) and bought Howard Station Cafe, which he famous wouldn’t promote for a lot anyway lately.
“The espresso enterprise is enjoyable,” Martin mentioned. “Going to nations and selecting up on the farms is just a little bit extra of a less complicated course of than all of the meals and distributors and folks it takes to run a restaurant.”
Costeaux French Bakery
Will Seppi, president and CEO of Costeaux French Bakery, plans to hold on to the Healdsburg firm his household acquired in 1981.
“In enterprise, you have to be targeted and lots dedicated to what you are doing, and that is the place I am at proper now,” Seppi mentioned. “Regardless of the challenges, and particularly over this final yr, I am having fun with what I am doing. In order that’s in the end what has to occur firstly.”
Actually, over the previous a number of years, Seppi has added to the enterprise.
In July 2019, Seppi acquired the pie enterprise of Forestville-based Kozlowski Farms. The Kozlowski household on the time was winding down the enterprise that was began about 70 years in the past by Carmen and Tony Kozlowski, which the Enterprise Journal reported on the time.
Along with the principle bakery cafe in Healdsburg, Costeaux has retailers inside Huge John’s Market in Healdsburg, Costeaux On The Go retailer on the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport terminal and Tia Maria bakery cafe in Santa Rosa’s Roseland neighborhood.
Costeaux, which distributes its breads, cookies and muffins all through Sonoma County and the higher North Bay space, received’t be going nationwide as La Tortilla Manufacturing facility has executed.