Investing in Front Line Leadership



The following story, published in Baking Business on January 20, 2015, quotes several CEOs, including Rich Scalise of Hearthside Foods. The story speaks to the value companies place, or should place, on training their front line leadership. For Hearthside, a contact manufacturer, it is an essential.

Commenting on the story, Rich Scalise added, “My quote [in the story] speaks to several specific roles. In fact all our front line leaders contribute to our success. Their input is constantly sought. It enables us to move quickly to correct issues or take advantage of new opportunities for productivity savings or quality improvements. Our front line leaders enable us to deliver on our promise to be faster and more flexible while adding more value for customers.”

To read the full story in Baking Business, click here.



Rich Scalise on Hearthside and Industry: IBIE Floor Interview

logo-only-4cAt last year’s IBIE in Las Vegas Rich Scalise sat down with Josh Sosland of Baking & Snack and Food Industry News for a one-on-one interview. Topics included the state of the baking industry and Hearthside’s growth. Rich Scalise is the current Chairman of the American Bakers Association, as well as the founder and Chairman of Hearthside Food Solutions.

The interview was conducted during the 2013 IBIE Exposition in Las Vegas and was published by Sosland Publishing in June of this year.

For more on Sosland Publishing, please visit their website at:


Crain’s Chicago Business Largest Private Companies 2014: Hearthside Food Solutions

April 22. 2014 – Chicago IL – Crain’s Chicago Business, famous for the “LISTS” it publishes each year, is out with their 2014 “Chicago’s Largest Private Companies” list. Hearthside Food Solutions again is on the list, ranking #36, climbing 12 positions since last year’s list. This is the third year Hearthside has been on this Crain’s list. For more information, visit Crain’s Chicago Business here.


Hearthside Food Solutions new Equity Partners

Hearthside Food Solutions today announces that their long time equity partner, Wind Point Partners has entered into an agreement to sell their interest in Hearthside Food Solutions to Goldman Sachs and Vestar Capital Partners. Expected to be completed in approximately 45 days, this change is a positive one for Hearthside, for our employees and our customers. The move will enable Hearthside to continue to grow, adding more value in the food contract manufacturing market it serves. Here is the official release.

Goldman Sachs and Vestar Capital Partners in Partnership to Acquire Hearthside Food Solutions

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Goldman Sachs and Vestar Capital Partners announced today that they have signed a definitive agreement to acquire Hearthside Food Solutions, the largest independent bakery and contract food manufacturer in North America, from Wind Point Partners. Terms were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014. Goldman Sachs and Vestar will own equal stakes in the company going forward.

“We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to invest in Hearthside and partner with its first class management team and employees.”

Hearthside Food Solutions is the nation’s largest and fastest-growing independent bakery and a full-service contract manufacturer of high quality, grain-based food and snack products for many of the world’s leading premier brands. Hearthside offers a diverse product portfolio focused on four main platform categories – bars, cookies/crackers, granola/cereals, and snacks. The company manufactures more than 150 brands and 1,400 SKUs for its top customers.

“When we launched Hearthside in 2009, we envisioned a company that could transform the contract manufacturing industry,” said Rich Scalise, chairman and chief executive officer of Hearthside. “We have achieved that goal, building an industry leader and a highly successful business in the last five years based on the principles of being fast, flexible and adding more value. Going forward, by leveraging the experience and relationships of both Goldman and Vestar, we are confident we can take the company to the next level of growth in the contract manufacturing industry. We look forward to working with our new partners.”

“Hearthside is a leader in the co-manufacturing industry and management has done an excellent job accelerating its growth trajectory,” said Nicole Agnew, a managing director in the Merchant Banking Division at Goldman Sachs. “We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to invest in Hearthside and partner with its first class management team and employees.”

“Hearthside is not only one of the largest co-manufacturers in the food industry, but also the leader in quality, safety, and innovation. They respond rapidly to industry trends and shifting consumer preferences,” said Dan O’Connell, CEO of Vestar. “Now more than ever, food companies turn to co-manufacturers like Hearthside to help them initiate and accelerate the commercialization process and for timely response to changing consumer preferences. We are excited to work with Rich and his talented team to take advantage of these positive long-term trends and grow the business.”

Affiliates of Barclays Capital and Goldman Sachs provided commitments for the debt financing for the transaction. Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP acted as the legal advisor to Goldman Sachs and Vestar in this transaction.

About Hearthside Food Solutions
Hearthside Food Solutions, headquartered in Downers Grove, Illinois, is the nation’s largest independent bakery and a full-service contract manufacturer of high quality, grain-based food and snack products for some of the world’s leading premier brands. Hearthside operates 20 food-manufacturing facilities in eight states. For more information on Hearthside Food Solutions, visit

About Goldman Sachs
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm that provides a wide range of financial services to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments, and high-net-worth individuals. Founded in 1869, the firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in all major financial centers around the world.

About Vestar Capital Partners
Vestar Capital Partners is a leading U.S. middle-market private equity firm specializing in management buyouts and growth capital investments. Vestar invests and collaborates with incumbent management teams and private owners in a creative, flexible and entrepreneurial way to build long-term enterprise value.

Vestar has a successful track record in the food industry, with past investments in companies including Celestial Seasonings, Michael Foods and Birds Eye. Currently, Vestar’s portfolio includes Del Monte – now Big Heart Pet Brands, the largest pet snack company in U.S. – and specialty foods leader Roland Foods.

Vestar is targeting equity investments in the range of $50 million to $150 million in U.S.-based middle-market companies with enterprise values ranging from $250 million to $1 billion. Vestar has extensive experience investing across a wide variety of industries including Consumer, Healthcare, Digital Media, Information Services, Diversified Industries, and Financial Services. Since Vestar’s founding in 1988, Vestar funds have completed more than 70 investments in companies with a total value of more than $40 billion. For more information, please visit

ABA Nominates Rich Scalise, Incoming Chairman


(The American Bakers Association is the voice of the baking industry.
Established in 1897, the ABA seeks to grow and enhance the baking industry
through public policy advocacy, education and networking opportunities)

As reported in

WASHINGTON — A new slate of officers has been proposed for the American Bakers Association’s board of directors for 2014-16. The proposed officers will be considered at the 2014 A.B.A. convention set for March 16 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Rich Scalise, chief executive officer of Hearthside Food Solutions, is set to succeed Howard R. “Robin” Alton III, president and c.e.o. of Pan-O-Gold Baking Co., as chairman of the A.B.A. [Read more…]