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December 21, 2021updated 21 Jan 2022 2:02pm

Rustic Bakery sells majority interest to San Francisco Equity Partners

Rustic Bakery sells to retail and foodservice but also owns cafés in Marin, California.

Rustic Bakery, a US organic crackers and biscuits business, has sold a majority stake to San Francisco Equity Partners.

The price the private-equity firm has paid for the undisclosed holding in Petaluma, California-based Rustic Bakery was not revealed.

Founded in 2005 by husband and wife team Josh Harris and Carol LeValley, Rustic Bakery also produces artisan crisps and cookies sold in 5,000 retail stores in North America and online. It also supplies the out-of-home channel, with all the company’s products organic and non-GMO. The business also operates four cafés in Marin, California.

CEO LeValley said in a statement: “SFEP has great experience building authentic consumer brands and scaling manufacturing businesses in high-growth product categories. We’re excited to partner with them to continue to build the brand [and] accelerate the business.”

San Francisco Equity Partners (SFEP), which is focused on food, beauty and cosmetics, also holds a majority stake in US-based cheese maker Brazi Bites acquired in 2018.

The previous year, the private-equity investor bought San Francisco Salt Company through another portfolio company, spices producer Red Monkey Foods. However, a year ago, SFEP was poised to sell the business to US peer Norwest Equity Partners.

A spokesperson clarified to Just Food that both Red Monkey and San Francisco Salt were sold to Norwest in December last year.

Scott Potter, a managing partner at SFEP, said: “Rustic Bakery is a strong, authentic brand built on exceptionally high quality. We see a significant opportunity to expand the brand’s product portfolio, distribution and customer base, and look forward to bringing our strategic and operational resources to bear as we partner with the company on its next phase of growth.”


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