I was given about a week’s notice that I would be attending one of the company’s group meetings in Jacksonville, Florida. I took advantage of this trip to schedule an appointment to meet with Winn-Dixie, because their headquarters is also located in Jacksonville. We would be going to the headquarters of one of the largest food brokerage companies. I was happy to participate as my experiences with this brokerage company had been pleasant and the opportunity to learn and digest some demographic data and consumer insights appealed to me.
I was invited to the company’s quarterly meeting and it turned out to be not worth a plugged nickel! I thought this would be a good opportunity to meet the sales team and get more insight into the business. We were still working on the documents to clarify the new company’s structure, that is meeting the Women’s Business Enterprise Council’s (WBENC) requirements, but I had formed a new entity, registered the with the GS1 US for our bar codes, created a logo, and set up a business checking account. I had secured placement with The Kroger Company for two flavors of the “heart healthy” frozen pizza. I had completed the new item forms locking in our price and pack size. This was a home run for the team. I thought there would be some type of excitement over the opportunity at hand. Instead, there was no mention of the new pizza product, or me for that matter. I was shunned from the morning Read more
After our visit to the local grocery stores, the president, the equity guy and I headed back to the plant. The three of us headed into the president’s office and sat down around a little round table. They mentioned that they wished to discuss the next steps in our relationship. Then they laid it on me. The private equity group wanted to form a new Read more
After a brief negotiation period, many renditions of a business plan and answering a plethora of mundane question, I reached a tentative agreement with the private equity group that wished to purchase the healthy lifestyle frozen pizza brand I had developed. The equity group had recently purchased a pizza manufacturing facility from a larger consumer packaged goods company and was looking to find an opening into the frozen pizza category. They currently only sold through the refrigerated meat and deli categories and wanted a piece of the much larger and lucrative frozen pizza category.