Oct 12, 2021
Vine Line joins FreshEdge, expanding FreshEdge’s Michigan footprint

FreshEdge, a family of produce and specialty food companies backed by Rotunda Capital Partners, acquired Vine Line, a fresh produce distributor located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Vine Line operates out of a 67,147 square-foot state-of-the-art facility built in 2013.

The addition expands FreshEdge’s footprint further into Michigan and provides space and logistical support to better serve its growing customer base. Vine Line joins a growing family that includes Piazza Produce & Specialty Foods, Indianapolis Fruit, Get Fresh, McCartney Produce, Leonardo’s Produce, Valley Produce, Garden Cut, CIBUS Fresh and Papania’s.

Vine Line, a fresh produce distributor located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Vine Line operates out of a 67,147-square-foot state-of-the-art facility built in 2013.

The addition expands FreshEdge’s footprint further into Michigan and provides space and logistical support to better serve its growing customer base. Vine Line joins a growing family that includes Piazza Produce & Specialty Foods, Indianapolis Fruit, Get Fresh, McCartney Produce, Leonardo’s Produce, Valley Produce, Garden Cut, CIBUS Fresh and Papania’s.

FreshEdge now operates with 1,485 employees, approximately 670,000 square feet of warehouse space, and a fleet of more than 650 trucks.

“We are excited for Vine Line to join our family of ‘Best in Class’ fresh food distribution companies that are supported by our group of vertically integrated value-added operations,” Steve Grinstead, CEO of FreshEdge, said in a news release.

Terms of the deal, which closed on Oct. 7, 2021, were not disclosed. The transaction strengthens the combined business’s presence in western Michigan and enables continued expansion into Michigan.

“We welcome the Vine Line team and are excited to have them join FreshEdge,” said Greg Corsaro, president and COO of FreshEdge.

Liza Alvarez will lead Vine Line as president, and the company’s operations will carry on from its current facility in Comstock Park, Michigan.

FreshEdge is backed by Rotunda Capital Partners, a lower middle market private equity firm focused on investments in founder and family held companies. Rotunda seeks to provide 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. Vine Line represents FreshEdge’s sixth 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.

FreshEdge was formed in 2019 through the combination of Get Fresh Produce (founded 1982) and the IF&P Foods family of companies, primarily composed of Indianapolis Fruit (founded 1947) and Piazza Produce (founded 1970). Collectively, the three leading fresh food distribution companies have nearly 150 years of combined experience serving the grocery and food service industries.

In addition, FreshEdge includes two Garden Cut branded fresh-cut processing facilities, a tomato re-packer, a USDA fresh kitchen (CIBUS Fresh), and two transportation companies. FreshEdge’s fleet resource includes more than 650 trucks servicing the Midwest and beyond from eleven facilities totaling approximately 667,000 square feet of warehouse space. Today, FreshEdge is one of the largest independent fresh food distributors in the United States and a category leader in providing both the foodservice and retail industries with fruit, vegetables, proteins, fresh grab-n-go offerings, dairy, floral and specialty products.

Rotunda Capital Partners is a private equity firm that invests equity capital in established, lower middle market companies. Rotunda partners with management to build data-driven growth platforms within its targeted sectors, including value-added distribution, asset light logistics and industrial/business services. Founded in 2009, the firm has a long history of helping management teams achieve their goals for growth.

The Rotunda team actively provides guidance and draws on deep industry and financial relationships to contribute to the successful execution of Rotunda’s companies’ strategic plans. The firm has offices in Bethesda, Maryland, and Evanston, Illinois.

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