The combined company will be an omni-channel and vertically-integrated market leader in smoked, flavored, and kosher cheese, as well as an independent brand consolidator in what the company said is a fragmented US premium cheese and charcuterie market.
“We’re creating a powerful combination of ambitious companies, steeped in family-owned Wisconsin and New England traditions, and Ronin, which has the operational and market expertise in the cheese and consumer packaged goods space to turbocharge growth,” said Gene Graf, co-founder of Cheese Brothers and Barron County Cheese.
Graf will lead operations for the new company, which is yet to be named. Cheese Brothers’ other co-founder, Eric Ludy, will lead marketing and ecommerce alongside one of Ronin’s partners, Tiffany Bell, who will step in as CFO. The group will be led by David Toy, who is joining as CEO from his previous role as chief commercial officer of Sauer Brands and Kraft Heinz, where he led the foodservice business.
Existing management and the acquired companies’ founders will retain a significant stake in the new group.
“We’re incredibly excited about this partnership and felt the investment was perfect for us,” said Ronin managing partner David Feierstein.
“We want to enable motivated, passionate founders and executives in fragmented industries, using our financial muscle and operational expertise to execute accelerated roll-ups.”
Ronin has completed two of an expected four platform deals as part of its inaugural fund, which closed on commitments of $300m in March from family offices including Landon Capital, Cardinal Equity, and First Haven Capital.