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Church Bros., FiveStar partner in farming and innovation

Church Bros. Farms and FiveStar Gourmet Foods entered into a formal partnership that will enable each company to expand its product portfolios in their respective areas of expertise within the retail and foodservice segments of the fresh produce business.chur

FiveStar Gourmet Foods, a leader in the premium value-added salads, snacks, and value-added vegetables categories has been sourcing fresh commodities from the family farming program of Church Bros. Farms for several years for the company’s Simply Fresh brands.

Tal Shoshan, chief executive officer of FiveStar Gourmet Foods Inc., said the two companies will collaborate on resources, infrastructure, logistics, best-in-class food safety practices and facilities to be the most impactful and effective for customers. 

"This legal partnership creates a vertically integrated program for FiveStar Gourmet Foods and we are extremely excited to work with such a well-known, established company like Church Brothers Farms,” Shoshan said.  “A grower-direct supply helps further our new product innovation especially within packaged salads like blends and kits, which FiveStar plans to impact in a big way, similar to how we impacted the salad bowl category."  

Brian Church, CEO of Church Bros. Farms, said, integrating each company’s strengths and customer bases will complement the other’s ability to create new opportunities for both grower/processors.

“This partnership allows us to expand into regional processing with FiveStar’s state-of-the-art facilities in California and Florida, and quickly scale up to create new, innovative value added-items for our customers,” Church said. “FiveStar will leverage our strong land base of more than 40,000 conventional and organic crop acres to expand into the bagged salad category.” 

The partnership is effective immediately. There will be no change in ownership or personnel; each company will continue to operate independently; however, now both companies are better positioned for increased growth.