Commercial knife sharpening company Cozzini Bros Inc has entered into a strategic partnership with Maestranzi Brothers Grinding & Supply LLC, a Harwood Heights, Illinois-based cutlery, sharpening services and food equipment machine repair business. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which will see the joint company operate under the Cozzini name. Cozzini, which is based in Des Plaines, Illinois, said the merger will strengthen its ability to respond to customer needs and provide additional services. Last year, Birch Hill Equity Partners acquired a majority stake in Cozzini, providing Audax Private Equity with an exit.
Cozzini Bros. and Maestranzi Brothers Announce Strategic Partnership
March 05, 2018
DES PLAINES, Illinois–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cozzini Bros., Inc., the leading cutlery sharpening and exchange services company in the United States, today announced a strategic partnership with Maestranzi Brothers Grinding & Supply, L.L.C., a leading cutlery, sharpening services and food equipment machine repair company servicing customers in the Midwestern United States. The joint company will operate under the Cozzini Bros. name.
Maestranzi Brothers, which also operates under the trade name Wisconsin Cutlery, is based in Harwood Heights, Illinois. Giustino Maestranzi immigrated to the United States in the early 1920s and eventually found his way to Chicago where he began sharpening knives. The company has been providing exceptional cutlery sharpening and machine repair services to local businesses ever since. Maestranzi Brothers is today owned and operated by two fourth-generation brothers, Bart (51) and Vince (47) Maestranzi, and their brother-in-law, Vince McEnaney (“Mac”) (47). All three will be joining Cozzini to continue providing exceptional service to customers.
“We have long respected Maestranzi Brothers as a formidable competitor providing excellent customer service in the greater Chicago market, where both of our companies were founded generations ago” said Ed Finnegan, CEO of Cozzini Bros. “Joining forces with Maestranzi will strengthen our ability to service the ever-growing needs of our customers and to provide additional relevant services, including repairing slicer machines and various food processor machines and refurbishing meat grinder cylinders, rings and worms. Cozzini Bros. will benefit tremendously from the expertise and leadership of Bart, Vince and Mac, and we are honored to partner with them and their entire team.”
“Maestranzi Brothers is thrilled to partner with Cozzini Bros.,” noted Bart Maestranzi. “We have been impressed with Cozzini’s many investments in sharpening technology and software to streamline its customer routing, customer invoicing and general business operations.” Added Vince Maestranzi, “I am excited to be part of the largest, most sophisticated sharpening company in the U.S. and look forward to working with the Cozzini team to now service customers on a nationwide basis. The transaction with Cozzini is a significant milestone in the tremendous history of Maestranzi Brothers, and my great grandfather would be proud of the legacy he created.”
In addition to its machine repair capabilities, Maestranzi Brothers brings Cozzini long-term customer relationships, particularly in the grocery store market where, given the increased focus on prepared foods, the need for cutlery sharpening services is ever growing. Maestranzi Brothers will maintain its existing operations and employees in Harwood Heights, Illinois.
About Cozzini Bros.
Cozzini Bros, Inc. (www.cozzinibros.com) is the largest commercial knife sharpening company in the country, serving independent restaurants, restaurant chains, grocery stores and other food service institutions across the country. The company provides knife exchange, various ancillary services and kitchen supplies to over 49,000 customers nationwide. Established in 1905, Cozzini Bros. is headquartered in Des Plaines, Illinois.
In March 2017, Cozzini Bros. partnered with Birch Hill Equity Partners (www.birchhillequity.com) to support the continued execution of a robust growth strategy driven by additional strategic partnerships, acquisitions and enhanced selling efforts. The strategic partnership with Maestranzi Brothers, represents the 33rd such transaction in the last seven years and the 2nd since Birch Hill partnered with Cozzini’s management team a year ago.
Cozzini Bros., Inc.
Edward G. Finnegan, Jr., (224) 217-6100
Photo courtesy of Maestranzi Brothers Grinding & Supply LLC