KT Kitchen Case Study

KT Kitchen

In 2018, Calabasas Capital was engaged by KT’s Kitchens, Inc., a Los Angeles-based food manufacturer and distributor, to sell its Bob’s Big Boy Salad Dressings and Sauces line of business. KT’s acquired the license to the brand from the owner of the brand, Big Boy Restaurants International, over the 30 years ago. Bob’s Big Boy refrigerated salad dressings, sauces, and assorted condiments, are supplied to both the chain’s restaurants and grocery stores throughout the Pacific Coast and Southwestern United States in over 4,300 locations. Bob’s Big Boy has been a household name in its region for over 50 years and its refrigerated bleu cheese dressing remains as the #1 selling dressing in its category.

KT’s primary business is the manufacturing and distribution of premium frozen pizzas, including all natural, gluten-free and non-GMO products, to major brands and grocers nationwide. Over the past several years while the pizza business grew exponentially, the Bob’s business, for which the manufacturing had been outsourced to another co-packer, Van Law Food Products, became a non-core, yet very stable and reliably profitable, business to KT’s. Therefore, the decision was made by owner Kathy Taggares, to sell Bob’s and focus on the rapidly growing pizza business.

Calabasas Capital conducted a formal sale process for the Bob’s Big Boy Salad Dressings & Sauces business, which included outreach to a variety of strategic and financial buyers. To no one’s surprise there was significant interest and multiple bidders emerged from the process. The decision was ultimately made to sell the business to The Flavor of California, LLC, a new entity formed for the acquisition by Ms. Julie Pantiskas, a well-rounded and highly qualified operator and Salt Creek Capital, a private equity firm based in San Francisco.
This transaction was a corporate carveout, which involved a number of complexities, including the assignment of licensing agreement and negotiation and structuring of a transition services agreement. In the end, a successful transaction was completed, and both seller and buyer were very pleased with the outcome.

Kathy Taggares, founder and President of KT’s Kitchens said, “It’s really bitter sweet to let one of my “children” go. Bob’s has been a strong and profitable business over the years, but it came time to find someone who could give it the attention it deserves and allow Bob’s to continue growing to reach its full potential. I’m thrilled that Julie Pantiskas will be the shepherd of the brand. She is perfect. She is experienced, knowledgeable and very enthusiastic about the potential for Bob’s.” Ms. Taggares continued, “We would not have been able to find this buyer or complete this transaction without the guidance, patience and expertise of Calabasas Capital, the investment banking firm we hired to represent us in the sale. Managing Director, David Bonrouhi, is a real professional and an expert at his craft of advising entrepreneurs like myself in such a complicated transaction and without his tenacity and persistence we simply could not have completed this deal.”

Julie Pantiskas, CEO of The Flavor of California said, “I am just so impressed with Kathy Taggares and am sincerely honored to have been selected to take over the business from such an amazing businesswoman.”

David Bonrouhi, Managing Director of Calabasas Capital said, “We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with such an inspiring entrepreneur as Ms. Taggares and her senior management team in completing this transaction, which is as an example of our expertise in the food sector. We were fortunate to have identified a buyer in Ms. Pantiskas who shares the passion for Bob’s that our client had and is the perfect fit for taking over the business. Salt Creek Capital was also a pleasure to work with and their support for entrepreneurs looking to acquire businesses is admirable and frankly a winning strategy.”