Prairie City Bakery - under new ownership

Prairie City Bakery - under new ownership

McKee Foods, the US snacks group, has snapped up local peer Prairie City Bakery for an undisclosed sum.

Tennessee-based McKee, which owns the Little Debbie snack cake brand, said it will continue to use the Prairie City Bakery name and Illinois-based Prairie City's existing distribution channels. It will retain all Prairie City Bakery employees and existing offices.

Prairie City Bakery was co-founded by Bill Skeens in 1994. Starting with one product, Muffin Tops, today the company offers more than 125 varieties of individually-wrapped and bulk products, including Big Cinnamon Rolls, Down Home Cookies, Donut Holes in a Cup and Ooey Gooey Butter Cakes. It sells into the convenience, foodservice and in-store bakery channels.

McKee president and chief executive officer Mike McKee said: "We sought to acquire Prairie City Bakery because they built a great brand with quality, innovative products that satisfy specific retail customer needs. We want to continue that success by following the same great strategy with the same great management team."

Prairie City CEO Bill Skeens said: "I believe Prairie City Bakery is a perfect fit for McKee Foods. They share the same values regarding their commitment to quality products, serving their customers and supporting all the good people who support and work for McKee Foods."

McKee Foods, a family bakery with annual sales of around US$1.4bn, was founded during the Great Depression when founder O.D. McKee began selling five cent snack cakes from the back of his car. 

Today, the company employs more than 6,200 people across four states.