Valley Produce, a distributor of fresh produce and specialty products, has joined FreshEdge, a family of produce and specialty food companies backed by Rotunda Capital Partners. The addition further diversifies the group’s combined customer base, and increases its breadth and depth of service offerings in Tennessee and the southeastern U.S. Valley is part of a growing family that includes Piazza Produce & Specialty Foods, Indianapolis Fruit, Get Fresh, McCartney Produce, Leonardo’s Produce, Garden Cut, CIBUS Fresh and Papania’s.
FreshEdge currently operates with 1,430 employees and approximately 600,000 square feet of warehouse space, and a fleet of more than 600 trucks.
“We are excited for Valley to join our family of ‘Best in Class’ fresh food distribution companies that are supported by our vertically integrated value-added operations,” said Steve Grinstead, CEO of FreshEdge.
Terms of the deal, which closed on June 30, 2021, were not disclosed. The transaction strengthens the combined business’s presence in eastern Tennessee and enables continued expansion into the broader southeastern U.S.
“We welcome the Valley team and are excited to have them join FreshEdge,” said Greg Corsaro, president and COO of FreshEdge. “Adding Valley to our family of companies greatly enhances our ability to serve retail and foodservice customers throughout the Mid-South and Southeast.”
Founded in the early 1980s, Valley distributes fresh produce and specialty products to foodservice customers from its facility near Knoxville, Tennessee. Mark Stansberry will continue to lead Valley as president, and the company’s operations will carry on from its current facility.
“By joining FreshEdge, Valley will expand its selection of specialty items and add fresh cut processed products such as fresh salads, sandwiches, and healthy snack items – while continuing to provide exceptional customer service to our current and future customers,” said Stansberry. “We look forward to this new era of opportunity and growth for Valley.”
FreshEdge is backed by Rotunda Capital Partners, a Bethesda, Maryland-based private equity firm that invests equity capital in established lower middle-market companies. Rotunda provides opportunities for management teams to reach strategic, financial, and operational objectives. Rotunda entered the food business in 2017 with the acquisition of Indianapolis Fruit and Piazza Produce. FreshEdge was created in 2019 when Get Fresh joined the platform. Valley represents FreshEdge’s fifth acquisition since Rotunda’s initial investment. Together, Rotunda and FreshEdge intend to continue expanding FreshEdge by welcoming more companies into the group—all focused on high quality produce and specialty food products, along with exceptional service—to create a unique team of complementary entities.