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December 18, 2017

Stonewall Kitchen to acquire maker of Bada Bing cherries

Courtesy / Stonewall Kitchen
Courtesy / Stonewall Kitchen
Stonewall Kitchen, the private equity-backed, York-based specialty food maker and retailer, is expanding its range of products through the acquisition of the Tillen Farms brand of pickled vegetables and Bada Bing cherries.

Stonewall Kitchen, the private equity-backed, York-based specialty food maker and retailer, is expanding its range of products through the acquisition of the Tillen Farms brand of pickled vegetables and Bada Bing cherries.

Terms of the deal, due to be completed in January, were not disclosed.

A spokesman said by email that this is Stonewall's first acquisition, and that "no significant changes" are planned for the Tillen Farms brand.

Stonewall Kitchen, founded in 1991 by partners Jonathan King and Jim Stott, who got their start selling jams and jellies at local farmers markets, fairs and festivals, today has 10 retail company stores along the East Coast.

It also has 6,000 wholesale accounts nationwide and internationally as well as catalog and web divisions.

The acquisition of Tillen Farms line of premium cocktail garnishes will add products including asparagus spears and dilly beans and its signature Bada Bing cherries.

"The product line is completely complementary to the specialty food categories we currently offer, and provides us with an immediate leadership presence in the cocktail garnish category," said John Stiker, CEO of Stonewall Kitchen, in a statement.

Organic growth and 'selective acquisitions'

"We are dedicated to providing our loyal customers delicious and innovative new products, and could not be more excited to welcome the Tillen Farms brand into the Stonewall Kitchen family as we continue to grow both organically and through selective acquisitions," Stiker added.

Tim Metzger, Tillen Farms' founder and owner, said that he "couldn't imagine a more perfect partner than Stonewall Kitchen to help take the brand to the next level," and that he looks forward to working with the Stonewall team to growth both companies in the coming years.

While Stonewall Kitchen has known Tim Metzger and the Tillen Farms brand for many years, discussions only started when Metzger was ready, which was this year, according to the Stonewall Kitchen spokesman.

Stonewall Kitchen is a portfolio company of Centre Partners, a middle-market-focused private equity firm with offices in New York and Los Angeles.

Centre Partners' other current food-related investments include Miami-based Sun Orchard Juicery and Golding Farms Foods, a Winston-Salem, N.C.-based maker of private label, branded and co-manufactured sauces and condiments.

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