Liguria Foods (formerly Humboldt Sausage Company) has begun construction of a $7.5 million expansion, which will result in 18 to 25 new jobs at the Humboldt, Iowa, plant. Construction of the 20,000 square foot addition comes after $2.9 million in upgrades to the plant were completed this past year.
Liguria Foods currently employs 92 people. The expansion will add 18 to 25 new jobs. “There is a lot of excitement within our company. We produce a product that pizza shop operators want,” Jehan Saulnier, President and CEO of Liguria Foods, Inc., said. “We keep pinching ourselves. We have not seen a negative impact from the national economy. Our business continues to grow.” Approximately 80 percent of the company’s business is sliced pepperoni, which is mostly sold to independent pizza shop operators across the country.
Gary Piearson, Vice President of Operations, said the expansion will allow Liguria Foods to increase production by 10 million pounds annually, going from 25 million pounds of finished product to 35 million pounds of finished product a year. “We’ve been running very close to capacity,” Saulnier said. The expansion project includes adding new dry rooms, new blast freezers, new slicing operations, new offices, two more smokehouses and more refrigeration. There will also be new employee locker rooms.
In early 2008 Ancor Capital Partners teamed up with the management team and purchased the business from Specialty Food Group. “Since we’ve been on our own, we’ve seen sales pick up. We are not only gaining new customers, but our existing customers are buying more,” Saulnier said. “Ancor has been a great partner for us and enabled us to finance and grow the business.”
Ancor Capital Partners, based in Fort Worth, Texas, is an operations-oriented private equity firm focused on lower middle-market manufacturing, distribution, and outsourcing with EBITDA of $5-$15 million. Ancor’s proven track record includes 23 acquisitions to date.