New partnership for Shick Solutions marries business and people

by Joanie Spencer
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Joe Ungashick, Tim Cook and Didier Soumet express excitement about a shared vision of corporate culture and new global strategies for Shick Solutions.

Shick Solutions recently announced that it joined Bretèche Industrie Group, a global company with eight plants located in France, Germany and the Czech Republic. The company’s most well-known brands include mixing companies Diosna (Booths No. 10507, No. 10705) and VMI (Booth No. 6147), as well as ingredient handling company Esteve (10705).

Shick’s operating shareholders Joe, Mark and Matt Ungashick, all sons of founder William Ungashick, had no official plans to sell the business, yet when approached by Bretèche, saw a great opportunity for the business by becoming part of the group. The acquisition provides mutual benefits in terms of technology, expertise, geography and culture for both companies.

“Our strategy is to offer the best solutions for our customers, from the silo to the exit of the mixer,” said Didier Soumet, president and CEO, Breteche. Through these distinct companies, bakers will be offered complete integrated solutions. “Our ingredient handling companies will work with the mixing side to offer customers complete integration including scaling and conveying of ingredients and mixing, as well as pre-dough, if necessary.”

Additionally, the synergy between Shick and Esteve will bring more solutions to more bakers worldwide, and all Bretèche companies are working together at IBIE 2016 to develop new global strategies for both ingredient handling and mixing.

But it’s about more than the solutions. It’s the people and the cultures of the companies who bring those solutions to the industry.

“I’m filled with excitement about what we’ll be able to do for the industry by being a bigger part of the solutions for our customers,” said Tim Cook, president and CEO, Shick Solutions. “I’m also excited as I look around the booth at this team of people and the opportunity this creates for them going forward.”

This enthusiasm runs throughout this new partnership. “These are not just process companies. They’re companies of human beings,” Mr. Soumet said. This feeling is something that made the partnership work from the beginning.

“We knew this was a marketing fit, a business fit,” Mark Ungashick said. “But what really hit home was the similarity in culture. They were so similar to us in terms of our values — it felt like the perfect fit.”

Joe Ungashick shared the sentiment. “This industry is about the relationships. Some people call it collegiate. I say there’s a fraternal hospitality in this industry that doesn’t exist elsewhere. It’s about relationships first — where I go from here, the relationships will go with me. I’m excited for the future of these companies.”

Mark and Joe Ungashick will remain members of Shick’s advisory board.

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