• HQ: Fresno, CA
  • Category: Manufacturing / Distribution
  • Investment: Sold to C&S Wholesale Grocers

FreshKO is a Fresno, California based value-added distributor of high quality fresh produce and produce-related items to independent retailers and small grocery chains in Central and Northern California.

Freshko is well-regarded by its customers as a partner that helps actively manage their produce departments and is distinct from its competitors in its ability to provide a complete merchandising solution for its retail customers. Freshko’s services extend beyond selling and delivering produce to helping its customers set up, organize, and merchandise products, as well as timing and pricing of promotions to maximize retailer profit and fulfill consumer demand. Freshko also provides banana ripening services, performed through controlled exposure to ethylene in customized ripening rooms.

Encore provided Freshko with liquidity for existing shareholders. The founders maintained a significant minority share of the Company.

Investment Period Highlights

  • Expanded with independent grocers by helping them grow their produce sales to better compete with larger chains
  • Invested in additional banana ripening room capacity as a key product line
  • Significant customer wins over the life of the investment in surrounding geographic areas
  • Added select dry goods to expand its product offering
  • Strong day-to-day management of the business and its 100+ employees was one of the key drivers of success
  • Revenues grew by 50% in 3+ year investment period

Encore has been a great partner over the past three years. They’ve helped us expand our team, our footprint and capabilities. We look forward to continuing serving independent retailers throughout California as part of the C&S organization.

The statement quoted above was made by a current or former executive of an Encore Consumer Capital portfolio company following Encore’s exit of that company. Such executive has not received compensation for the above statement and this statement is solely his or her opinion and representative of his or her experience with Encore Consumer Capital. Other portfolio company executives may not necessarily share the same views. It should not be assumed that Encore Consumer Capital’s investment in such portfolio company was ultimately profitable.

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