Universal Pure Acquires Stay Fresh Foods

Share Article

Acquisition expands HPP service provider’s footprint to six U.S. sites.

News Image
As part of the Universal Pure family, we can offer more resources and more locations to our customers, while assuring them that the things that make us special - our responsiveness and rapid processing turnaround, for example - will stay the same.

Universal Pure Holdings LLC (“Universal Pure”), the largest independent provider of high pressure processing services in North America and a portfolio company of Tilia Holdings, is pleased to announce its acquisition of Stay Fresh Foods LLC (“Stay Fresh”) as of July 1, 2019.

The transaction combines two recognized leaders within the high pressure processing (HPP) services and solutions industry, facilitating the delivery of even higher levels of services and quality to food and beverage processors. The consolidated platform will operate 15 HPP machines across six locations in the U.S., serve over 110 customers and have high pressure processed over 900 million pounds of food and beverage products.

Stay Fresh Foods was founded by food industry veterans Amy Lawless and Joe Ragozzino in 2012 to provide custom HPP services. Guided by a strategic “under-one-roof” approach and a laser-sharp focus on customer needs, the company has steadily increased its offerings to include beverage co-packing and a host of supply chain and value-added services, all available from its two locations, in Meriden, Connecticut, and Pennsauken, New Jersey.

“We are thrilled to join forces with Amy Lawless and her team to help fuel the growth of our combined businesses,” said Jeff Williams, CEO of Universal Pure.

Both Universal Pure and Stay Fresh Foods have played a major role in advancing the adoption of HPP over the past seven years. “It’s been very gratifying to see the transformation of HPP from a pioneering food safety technology to a mainstream approach that promotes healthful eating,” comments Ms. Lawless, President of Stay Fresh Foods. “Universal Pure has also been at the forefront, and we share a common service-oriented mentality. As part of the Universal Pure family, we can offer more resources and more locations to our customers, while assuring them that the things that make us special - our responsiveness and rapid processing turnaround, for example - will stay the same.”

“As the demand grows for healthier foods and cleaner ingredient labels, Stay Fresh’s range of capabilities and expertise expands our capacity and geography, enabling us to better serve branded customers, retailers and foodservice companies,” added Mr. Williams. “We are excited about the opportunity to accelerate our leadership position in the HPP industry and will continue to invest in our capabilities, services, geographic reach and people to better serve our customers.”

Ms. Lawless will retain her role as President of Stay Fresh Foods, focusing on Northeast sales and growth of the combined entity’s beverage business. She will report directly to Mr. Williams. Mr. Ragozzino will become the General Manager of Stay Fresh Foods, overseeing operations in Connecticut and New Jersey as well as assisting with other Universal Pure growth initiatives. He will report to Randy Pierce, Universal Pure Vice President of Operations.

About Stay Fresh Foods
Stay Fresh Foods provides custom high pressure processing services on a contract basis to the food and beverage industry, utilizing proven technology that substantially improves the safety and extends the shelf life of packaged products without chemical additives or preservatives. The company’s two SQF Level 3-certified facilities, in Meriden, Conn., and Pennsauken, N.J., also offer beverage co-packing and product development assistance (testing, formulation changes, shelf-life studies, packaging selection), along with an integrated menu of Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) supply chain and pre- and post-HPP value-added services. For more information, please visit http://www.stayfreshfoods.com.

About Universal Pure
Universal Pure is the largest provider of HPP services in North America and is dedicated to helping ensure the safety and quality of foods and beverages. Companies also outsource with Universal Pure forcold storage and related pre-HPP and post-HPP value-added services, including kitting, pricing, code dating and inventory control, and to leverage Universal Pure’s technical, quality assurance, engineering and cold-chain expertise. Universal Pure’s customer-centric and turnkey operations deliver a customized, flexible end-to-end solution across a diverse, blue-chip customer base through the company’s strategic footprint of six U.S. locations. For more information, please visit http://www.universalpure.com.

ABOUT Tilia Holdings
Tilia is a Chicago-based private investment firm focused exclusively on the food supply chain. Through an interdisciplinary approach to investing, Tilia partners with business services companies that support leading and emerging CPG brands and builds distinctive middle-market companies through a corporate governance model emphasizing stewardship. Tilia’s investment team has complementary skills across operations and finance and has significant expertise scaling and growing services companies. The firm’s deep sector focused strategy is a successful approach to investments that spans almost three-decades and approaches each investment as a steward by employing a consistent set of principles to increase capital across four dimensions: brand, human, social and financial. For more information on Tilia, please visit http://www.tiliallc.com.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Wendy Alpine
Visit website