Orion Food Systems has acquired the Stone Willy's® pizza and Summit Subs(TM) sandwich brands from Schwan's® Food Systems in an asset purchase for an undisclosed amount, said Mark Elliott, Orion's executive vice president of marketing.

Orion, the nation's leading franchisor of branded food concepts to the convenience store industry, will blend the two concepts into their existing portfolio of 12 brands. The acquisition gives Orion an established presence in the hospital and university food service industries.

According to Elliott, the purchase of these brands will position the company for a swift entrance into markets they feel have great potential for future growth. With over 250 locations, the two brands will add a new dimension of services and expertise to Orion's portfolio.

"This purchase affords us immediate points of distribution in two channels that we would actively like to target, hospitals and universities," Mark Elliott said.

Orion, a wholly owned subsidiary of Schwan's, plans to leverage their operational support system by providing visitations to each new location once every 21 days to ensure product quality and adherence to marketing programs.

"Although Stone Willy's and Summit Subs are very successful brands, franchised food service is not our core competency," said Greg Flack, Schwan's Food Service vice president/marketing. "Orion's experience and knowledge in the franchised food service industry will take our licensees to a new level in sales and profits."

Founded in 1983, Orion Food Systems is the leading U.S. franchisor of multi-branded fast foods in the convenience industry. Additionally, Orion concepts can be found in hotels, malls, and on military and college campuses. Orion brands include Hot Stuff Pizza®, Smash Hit Subs®, Cinnamon Street Bakery®, Eddie Peppers® Great Mexican Food, Joey Pagoda's Oriental Express®, Chix Chicken®, Moose Brother's® Pizza, Mean Gene's(TM) Burgers, Nap's Alabama BBQ(TM), Graham's Grill, Java Blues, Magic Wok and MacGregor's Market®. With more than 1,500 outlets throughout the world, Orion has achieved success by focusing on a complete understanding of the convenience business, meeting the needs of the time-conscious consumer at retail, and committing to a relationship in which Orion becomes a real partner with its franchisees/licensees.