Cirelli Foods, Middleborough, Mass., a broad line foodservice distributor, acquired bakery distributor Savage & Co., Framingham, Mass.
In business for more than 80 years, Savage & Co. supplied baking ingredients to New England bakeries. With negotiations between the two companies that only began in late January, the acquisition was finalized last month. Cirelli Foods now offers the complete line of Savage products and more than 10,000 foodservice products to its bakery and restaurant customers.
Cirelli’s move into the bakery market represents two significant trends: retail bakeries are holding their own in the unstable economy, and more bakeries are adding foodservice to their operations. “Restaurants have had a rough go through 2008. In Massachusetts, the restaurant business is down 25 percent,” said Paul Morrissey, president and C.E.O. of Cirelli Foods. “We began looking around to see what market segments were faring better. That was bakery.”
Specialized bakery needs
To meet the specialized needs of bakeries, he said Cirelli has retained Savage’s dedicated sales and purchasing staff, and the bakery supply side of the business will remain distinctly separate in the organization. “We are committed to this market 100 percent,” he added.
He said of Savage’s 395 customers that only five of them were shared before the acquisition. Along with the additional Cirelli products, Savage customers have the added convenience of online product listings and online ordering.
“It’s a very good marriage for two companies that both have a strong family heritage and are very good at what they do. I’ve been impressed with everyone I’ve met at Cirelli’s,” said Al Gordon, president of Savage & Co. in a press release. “They’re passionate and dedicated–strong traits that have always been part of the Savage tradition. Cirelli Foods has an infrastructure already in place that will quickly bring the Savage product line to a more competitive level with access to more refined systems and better capabilities to transport products.”