Tricor Founders’ Freshstone Brands acquires Keybrand Foods

Tricor Pacific Founders Capital has acquired Keybrand Foods Inc, a Kitchener, Ontario manufacturer of branded and private label wet salads, hand-rolled products and fruit salads. The deal’s financial terms were not released. Tricor Founders, a Canadian private equity family office, made the investment through Freshstone Brands Inc, a newly formed company under Freshstone Kitchen Inc, a prepared-foods investment platform. The investor also said it hired Steven Diakowsky as Freshstone Brands’ President and CEO. In February, PE Hub Canada interviewed Richard Harris about Tricor Founders’ strategy in the food, beverage and consumer-packaged-goods sectors.


Tricor Founders Acquires Keybrand Foods

Kitchener, Ontario – On June 9, 2017, Tricor Pacific Founders Capital Inc. (“Tricor Founders”) successfully acquired the business and Kitchener real estate assets of Keybrand Foods Inc. (“Keybrand”), a leading, manufacturer of branded and private label wet salads, hand-rolled products and fruit salads. Keybrand is based in Kitchener, ON with operations in Delisle, SK and Charlottetown, PEI, serving retail, foodservice and co-manufacturing customers.

Tricor Founders has made its investment in Keybrand through Freshstone Brands Inc., a newly formed company under Freshstone Kitchen Inc. which holds Tricor Founders’ investment in Keybrand, Fresh Selections as well as future investments in prepared foods businesses.

“The prepared foods and home meal replacement industry is an attractive and growing market. We hope to make further acquisitions in this space adding capabilities and expanding our footprint over the next few years,” stated Derek Senft, Managing Director of Tricor Founders who led the transaction.

“We look forward to working with Tricor Founders, who bring specific food industry experience and operating resources to the table and have a long-term investment horizon,” said Mike Swan, Vice President of Keybrand.

“The acquisition is consistent with our strategy of making control investments in food businesses, with EBITDA of $3 to $10 million, across Canada and the Mid-West and Western USA,” stated Richard Harris, Managing Director of Tricor Founders who will lead Keybrand as the Executive Chairman of Freshstone Brands. “We are also pleased to announce the hiring of Steven Diakowsky as President & CEO of Freshstone Brands. Steve is an experienced food industry CEO, with recent stints at Taste of Nature and Allan Candy.”

Ernst & Young acted as the sell-side advisor to Keybrand. Tricor Founders was advised by Bryan & Company, Collins Barrow, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Scotiabank and Roynat provided debt financing for the transaction.

More Information on Tricor Founders
Tricor Founders is building an integrated but decentralized portfolio of food businesses. Its existing portfolio is focused on prepared foods (through Freshstone Kitchen), specialty protein (through Purewater Foods), and edible gifts and confections (through Ganache Gourmet). These sub-sectors of the food industry are the highest priority for future investments. Tricor Founders combines 25 years of private equity experience in over 75 companies with deep operating knowledge. We do not manage institutional capital, but rather invest our own capital and focus on applying operating know-how in order to build thriving organizations over the long term. Our strategy is to make control investments in food and other consumer packaged goods businesses, with EBITDA of $3 to $10 million, across the Mid-West and Western USA and Canada.

We believe we are a unique buyer that combines a respect for the founder, an industry-focused investment strategy, industry-specific operating expertise, a long track record of transacting with certainty, together with a longer term investment horizon of 15+ years. For further information, please visit

For more information please contact Derek Senft, Managing Director (; (604-726-5051) or Richard Harris, Managing Director (; (604-646-4372).

More Information on Keybrand
Keybrand Foods, Inc. produces branded and private label, deli classic and home-style wet salads, hand rolled products, fruit salads, and other prepared foods for the retail, food service, and co-manufacturing customers. The company was founded in 1963 and is based in Kitchener, Canada with operations in Delisle, SK and Charlottetown, PEI. The Company’s brands include Keybrand, Deli Classics, Johnston’s and Sun Gem. For further information, please visit

Photo courtesy of Keybrand Foods Inc