Neptune’s Gourmet Kitchen becomes part of AUA’s food manufacturing venture

New York investment firm AUA Private Equity Partners LLC has created a new food manufacturing company, Gourmet Culinary Holdings LLC, through a pair of recent transactions that included Neptune-based specialty food manufacturer Gourmet Kitchen Inc.

AUA announced this week that it created the GCH partnership in March, teaming up with Gourmet Kitchen’s owners, and then in April, joining with the founders and senior management of Atlanta-based Kabobs Holdings LLC to bring the hors d’oeuvres maker into the GCH fold.

“We are excited to establish the Gourmet Culinary Holdings platform and partner with talented operators at each of Gourmet Kitchen and Kabobs,” AUA Managing Partner Andy Unanue said in a prepared statement. “Based on the strong performance in our portfolio company Indulge Desserts Holdings LLC, we hope to create similar economies of scale that will allow our partners to accelerate growth and continue to offer premium customized solutions to our customers.”

Gourmet Kitchen, founded in 1985, makes specialty prepared foods for hotels, restaurants, colleges, corporate campuses and more, with artisanal product offerings ranging from appetizers and breakfast items to ethnic foods and desserts.

The new GCH platform will give Gourmet Kitchen Kabobs a broader portfolio of products, more robust resources and additional capacity for growth. Both companies’ current management will remain involved in the business going forward, AUA said.

“We have been thinking about a partnership with Kabobs for years,” Gourmet Kitchen President Michael Lacey said in a statement. “AUA was able to make that a reality. Together, we will be able to provide a broader product offering and expansive customer service.”

For AUA, the transaction was led by Steven Flyer, partner; Kyce Chihi, managing director; and Ari David, vice president. NXT Capital provided financing, while Foley & Lardner LLP served as AUA’s legal adviser. CohnReznick LLP, L.E.K. Consulting and Lockton Cos. Inc. were additional advisers on the deal.