Bake a better world: Mission-driven Rubicon’s acquisition to provide ‘second chance’ employees with further career opportunities

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Rubicon works to turn the lives of their employees around with every cake, cupcake, cookie and muffin they bake. Pic: Rubicon Bakers
Rubicon works to turn the lives of their employees around with every cake, cupcake, cookie and muffin they bake. Pic: Rubicon Bakers

Related tags Rubicon Bakers Just Desserts Trive Capital Certified B Corporation

Investor-backed Rubicon – founded with a mission to help those in need of a second chance – has acquired fellow Californian cake maker Just Desserts for an undisclosed amount.

Rubicon – which provides employment​ to those without housing, who have been incarcerated or recently recovered from substance abuse with a 'no questions asked' hiring policy​ – is a portfolio company of Texan private equity firm Trive Capital, which has approximately $3.6bn in assets under management.

Founded in 1993, Rubicon’s vision is to build a strong and empowered community by spreading compassion. The socially-conscious Certified B Corporation’s workforce scratch-bakes more than 50 ontrend treats, including vegan and plant-based options.

Scaling up footprint

According to the baker, the acquisition of Just Desserts is a natural fit and will create a market-leading bakery platform with a broader product offering serving a customer base on both a regional and national scale. It also opens a vast quarry of opportunities for the combined employee base.

“The combination with Just Desserts, located just down the road from us, provides exciting career opportunities and flexibility for our employees as the business grows,”​ said Leslie Crary and Andrew Stoloff,​ founders of Richmond-based Rubicon.

The acquisition also marks Rubicon’s leap into operating more than one facility, which will allow it to better serve customers in the specialty and mainstream grocery market.

“Just Desserts and Rubicon share in the focus and passion to deliver high-quality and innovative products, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to scale our footprint to a multi-facility platform so that we can continue to serve customers nationwide.”

Pivotal move

Chris Zugaro, partner at Dallas-based Trive – which focuses on investing in middle-market companies that demonstrate the potential for value creation – sees the move as a pivotal moment for Rubicon.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed our partnership with the Rubicon team and are excited to add a complementary, premium brand that provides additional operational flexibility,”​ said Zugaro.

“The acquisition of Just Desserts represents a key milestone for Rubicon and positions the businesses to continue providing innovative solutions for their in-store bakery customers at greater scale.”

Michael Mendes, former managing partner and CEO of Just Desserts, added, “I am very pleased to transition stewardship of Just Desserts to Andrew, Leslie and Trive Capital. The strategic combination of these two premium bakeries will expand the reach of our products across the country and create exciting opportunities for the talented combined employee base.”

Cody Peak Advisors acted as financial advisor to Rubicon and Trive, and Moelis & Company LLC acted as financial advisor to Just Desserts.

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