When Arbor Investments purchased Gold Standard Baking from the Caparos family, the deal brought additional financial resources to the bakery and allowed family members to maintain a minority interest and remain in key management roles.
In many ways, the Chicago, IL-based private equity firm, which has acquired more than 30 middle-market food and beverage businesses since 1999, and Gold Standard are a good fit, noted George Caparos, vice-president of sales, who with his brother Yianny, the bakery’s president, manage day-to-day operations. The management team also includes Mark Grosshans, CFO; Alex Salgado, plant manager; and James Carr, chief engineer.
“Arbor is very honed in to the industry,” he said. “They’re knowledgeable about the food business, and they’re a great sounding board for brainstorming and providing leadership and direction.”
Gold Standard works with Greg Purcell, Arbor’s CEO; Joe Campolo, president; and Ryan McKenzie, partner. “It’s a great firm that focuses on food,” Yianny said. “They don’t micromanage. You can create a plan together, and you have monthly meetings to review your plan.”
Those plans include 1-, 3- and 5-year strategies that focus on the business’ intermediate and long-term outlook, according to Yianny. In 2010, Arbor acquired Oven Fresh Baking Co., a Chicago producer of croissants and Danish, and folded the business into the Gold Standard platform and its operations into Gold Standard’s plant on Chicago’s southwest side. “We bought Oven Fresh because its customer base complemented with ours,” he added.
Like many private equity firms, Arbor has spun off many of the food and beverage companies it acquired, and it wouldn’t be surprising to Yianny if it did the same to Gold Standard. “They’ve owned it for four years,” he observed. “If they sell, that would be a good thing to me. That means we’re doing our jobs.”