Cascadia Capital, an investment bank serving middle market clients globally, today announced it acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Ever Fresh Fruit Company (“Ever Fresh” or “Company”), a premier provider of custom formulated fruit and flavor ingredient solutions that improve the sensory attributes of food and beverage products, in its majority recapitalization by Tilia Holdings (“Tilia”), a Chicago-based private investment firm focused exclusively on the food supply chain. The McKnight Family, who founded and have owned Ever Fresh for over 55 years, will remain significant shareholders and continue to serve on the Board of the Company. Ever Fresh CEO Gene Mayer will continue to lead the Company going forward.
Ever Fresh is a processor and developer of formulated fruit and sensory ingredients to the dairy, dairy alternatives, bakery, and beverage end-markets. The Company’s diverse portfolio of high quality, custom ingredient applications provide the flavor, texture, and color elements to food and beverage products, which have established Ever Fresh as an integral and trusted product development and innovation partner. Located in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Ever Fresh was founded in 1968 by Harrison McKnight as a fruit processor. Under the stewardship of the second-generation since 2000, siblings Kurt McKnight and LeAnn Miller grew and expanded the Company’s focus into formulated fruit and flavor ingredients in partnership with Gene Mayer, who joined Ever Fresh in 1996 and has served as its CEO since 2016.
“Our family has dedicated the last 55 years to growing Ever Fresh, and we are incredibly proud of what our team has accomplished. We are very pleased with Cascadia’s ability to understand our business and help identify the right partner to expand and grow it. We are delighted to partner with the Tilia team to grow and advance our mission of providing fruit and flavor elements to our customers through unmatched service, quality, and innovation,” noted Mrs. Miller and Mr. McKnight.
“Tilia shares our vision for growth and was the ideal partner for Ever Fresh as we look to stay at the forefront of our industry,” adds Mr. Mayer. “Tilia’s expertise in food, organizational development capabilities, orientation towards sustainable growth, and most importantly, the values we both share will help enhance our capabilities in support of Ever Fresh’s continued growth and expansion. Our entire team is enthusiastic to begin the next chapter of our story with Tilia.”
“Ever Fresh has become a leader in the formulated ingredients category, and we believe their partnership with Tilia will create tremendous opportunity to further solidify their position in formulated ingredients,” commented Scott Porter, Cascadia Managing Director.
“It is an honor to work with the team at Ever Fresh. We continue to see great momentum in our Ingredients practice, and we look forward to all of the exciting opportunities ahead in the sector,” added George Sent, Cascadia Managing Director.
This acquisition represents another successful transaction for Cascadia’s Food, Beverage & Agribusiness group in the ingredients sector. Past transactions include: