‘Inspiring example of the American dream’: Flower Foods sets its sights on family-owned bakery

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Flowers' CEO believes Papa Pita Bakery typifies the American dream. Pic: GettyImages/tatniz
Flowers' CEO believes Papa Pita Bakery typifies the American dream. Pic: GettyImages/tatniz

Related tags Flowers foods Dave's Killer Bread Papa Pita Bakery American dream

The Dave’s Killer Bread maker – one of the largest producers of packaged bakery goods in the US – has snapped up Utah-based Papa Pita Bakery.

Papa Pita was founded in 1983, baking bagels, tortilla, bread, buns, English muffins and pita in a 270,000 square foot facility in Salt Lake City and quietly growing into a major force.

Today the company produces household brand like Papa Pita, Great Grains, Bubba's Bagels and Maya's Tortillas, and also operates a considerable co-manufacturing division. Additionally, its products are delivered to daily via its direct-store distribution in throughout the Midwest and Western states. The bakery uses only Non-GMO and USDA Organic-certified ingredients.

Exemplifying the American dream

American flag Fashpop
Pic: GettyImages

Ryals McMullian, president and CEO of Flowers Foods, believes the West Jordan business typifies the American dream – the belief that anyone, regardless of where they were born or what class they were born into, can attain their own version of success.

"Papa Pita began as a family business and has grown strategically through product and category expansions,"​ he added, noting “its focus on exceptional product quality and operational excellence aligns strongly with the Flowers culture.

“Papa Pita has been an important co-manufacturer of Flowers products for many years, and I'm thrilled about the opportunity to realise manufacturing and distribution synergies, in addition to expanding our geographic reach.”

Think big

Papa Pita products

Papa Pita will continue to operate out of its Utah facility, increasing Flowers' presence in the western US.

“Our success has been a direct result of the dedication of our hard-working team members, their ability to think big about what's possible, and a constant focus on how we can grow," ​said Farzad Mohebbi, president and CEO of Papa Pita.

“Flowers shares these same traits, making our partnership a great fit.”

The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions, is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2023.

Flowers plans to fund the transaction with cash on-hand and existing credit facilities. Deutsche Bank acted as financial advisor and Jones Day acted as legal counsel to Flowers.

BofA Securities served as financial advisor and Kirton McConkie was legal counsel to Papa Pita.

Georgia-headquartered Flowers Foods is one of the largest producers of packaged bakery foods in the US, posting $4.3bn in 2021 sales. Flowers operates bakeries across the country that produce a wide range of bakery products, under brands like Nature's Own, Dave's Killer Bread, Wonder, Canyon Bakehouse and Tastykake.

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