Hearthside buys cookie, bar maker in Illinois

by Jeff Gelski
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Oak State bars
Oak State Products is a privately held contract manufacturer of cookies, bars and other baked foods.

DOWNERS GROVE, ILL. — Hearthside Food Solutions has acquired Oak State Products, a privately held contract manufacturer of cookies, bars and other baked foods based in Wenona, Ill. Terms were not disclosed.

Oak State Products, which opened in 1956, operates out of a 200,000-square-foot bakery that is capable of producing 80 million lbs annually. The company has annual sales of $50 million and employs 300 people, according to the “2016 Directory and Buyers Guide” published by Sosland Publishing Co., Kansas City. The acquisition gives Hearthside a total of 24 facilities, including 21 in the United States and 3 in Europe.

Rich Scalise, Hearthside Food Solutions
Rich Scalise, founder and chairman of Hearthside

“Oak State represents an opportunity to add instant capacity to our network,” said Rich Scalise, founder and chairman of Downers Grove-based Hearthside, when the deal was announced Aug. 2. “Their flexible production lines complement our existing large scale lines, creating additional options for our customers. We see synergies in operations, cultures and customers. Most importantly, Oak State is already a mature, well-run operation. We anticipate a smooth and rapid integration.”

Hearthside Food Solutions, an independent baker, is a full-service contract manufacturer of grain-based food, snack products and packaging for premier brands. The Oak State Products acquisition follows two acquisitions announced in 2015 designed to expand the company’s presence in the Americas and Europe. The company acquired VSI, Leerdam, The Netherlands, from NPM Capital. VSI is a European producer of nutrition, diet and functional bars. In a separate agreement, Hearthside acquired the nutritional supplement bar production facility in Boise, Idaho, from a subsidiary of Post Holdings, Inc. 
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