Bartlett, Ill.-based distributor Get Fresh Produce has joined IF&P Foods, a private equity-backed family of produce and specialty food companies that also includes Indianapolis Fruit, Piazza Produce and Specialty Foods and Papania Produce.
In the same news release, it was revealed that Steve Grinstead has been named CEO of Produce Equity LLC, the holding company that owns IF&P Foods.
Produce Equity LLC owns IF&P Foods LLC and purchased GFF, the operating company that owns Get Fresh Produce, according to Greg Corsaro, president and CEO of IF&P Foods LLC.
The holding company - now called Produce Equity but in the process of being renamed — is led by Grinstead as CEO and Corsaro as president and chief operating officer, Corsaro said in an email.
The move diversifies IF&P’s combined customer base and increases its capabilities in the Chicago market and across the Midwest, according to a news release.
Get Fresh will operate in tandem with Indianapolis Fruit, Piazza Produce and Specialty Foods and Papania Produce.
Grinstead has operated the Grinstead Group in Texas for nearly five years. Before that, he was CEO of Pro*Act USA from 2005 to 2012.
Before being named CEO of Produce Equity, Grinstead said he was already investor and on the board of directors of IF&P.
“With the addition of Get Fresh, we are creating a small holding company to support these and future additions to our family of companies,” he said in an e-mail.
Grinstead said he no plans to move in the immediate future, but his involvement in the Plano, Texas-based Grinstead Group will wind down over the next couple of months.
The Grinstead Group has clients and business that don’t involve him and will continue at this time, he said.
Corsaro has been the director of sales and marketing at the Indianapolis Fruit Co. for nearly six years.
Corsaro said he will remain in Indianapolis in his new role. He expects IF&P will grow within its current operating area but the long-term vision is to expand beyond the Midwest.
The IF&P family of companies is backed by Rotunda Capital Partners, a Bethesda, Md.-based private equity firm that invests long-term equity capital in established lower middle-market companies, according to the release.
Terms of the deal, which closed July 1, were not disclosed.
The release said the transaction positions the combined group of companies as one of the largest independent produce and specialty food distributors in the Chicago market.
Get Fresh was founded in 1982 as a retail produce store in Chicago and grew to become a distributor of fresh produce, according to the release. With locations in Bartlett and Whitestown, Ind., the release said Get Fresh markets fresh produce, fresh-cut items and specialty products to foodservice and retail customers in Illinois, Southern Wisconsin and Western and Central Indiana.
Gino Alimondi will continue to lead Get Fresh as president, and the company’s operations will remain at its primary facility in Bartlett, according to the release.
IF&P distributes fresh produce throughout the Midwest to retail and foodservice segments through Indianapolis Fruit, Piazza and Papania’s.
Rotunda acquired IF&P Foods in 2017 and aims to expand by acquiring other produce companies throughout the Midwest and other regions, according to the release.