MOUNDRIDGE, Kan. & DENVER–Tortilla King announced that Denver-based Flagship Food Group, LLC (Flagship), owner of 505 Southwestern and La Tortilla Factory, has agreed to make an investment into Tortilla King to support its future growth and expansion strategy. Flagship will become the majority owner in the company while current local management remains in place and Juan Guardiola remains a shareholder.
With the acquisition, Flagship solidifies its place as one of the leading and largest privately held food companies in the country focusing on Hispanic brands with an emphasis on premium products.
“I’ve known the team at Flagship for many years, and we’ve been a supplier and partner of theirs across several of their product portfolios. Coming together as one company made sense for them, for me, and for our valued employees and customers,” said Juan Guardiola, co-founder of Tortilla King. Guardiola will remain in his role as President of Tortilla King.
Majority owned by CREO Capital Partners, Flagship is a diversified food company that sells a wide range of food products and services under the 505 Southwestern, La Tortilla Factory, Lilly B’s, Hatch Kitchen, TJ Farms and other brands. Most of Flagship’s brands are rapidly expanding, having experienced significant growth and expanded national distribution in recent years. 505 Southwestern, crafted with New Mexico green chiles and made in Albuquerque, is the country’s largest jarred green chile brand.
“We are building a world-class, scaled, diversified food company. The Hispanic foods category has been our principal focus for nearly a decade, and the addition of Tortilla King expands both our capabilities and geographic footprint,” said Rob Holland, founder of CREO Capital Partners and its managing partner. Holland helped lead the firm’s acquisition of 505 Southwestern over a decade ago and has driven the brand’s growth by over 15-fold during CREO’s ownership.
Based in Moundridge, Kansas, outside of Wichita, Tortilla King sells premium tortillas and tortilla chips under its Mama Lupe’s brand. In addition, it serves as a valued manufacturing partner to other food companies and food retailers across the county. The company operates manufacturing and distribution facilities across the Midwest. An innovator in the category, the company has developed low carb, net zero carb, and gluten free tortilla offerings for its customers focused on health and wellness.
“Simply put, we are here to support growth,” said Forrest Kragten, a principal at CREO. “As part of the transaction, we approved and supported a significant expansion of the Tortilla King operation in Kansas. We’re excited to bring more volume and production to this area and to this outstanding team.”
Earlier this year, Flagship announced the acquisition of La Tortilla Factory, a Santa Rosa, California-based maker of premium tortillas and Hispanic food products. Flagship says that the two companies are complementary and position Flagship as one of the top-ten branded tortilla companies in the country. Operations, brands, and management of each company will remain independent and fully intact.
“This is an exciting day for Flagship and its investment in the Hispanic food space,” said Jeff Ahlers, CEO of Flagship-owned La Tortilla Factory. “We proudly welcome Juan and Tortilla King into our family.”
The transaction closed in mid-July. Terms of the transaction are confidential.
About Tortilla King
Headquartered in Moundridge, KS, Tortilla King is a leading Midwest manufacturer and distributor of flour and corn tortillas as well as tortilla chips and Mexican food products for a variety of blue-chip customers and national retailers. Tortilla King operates a highly efficient plant in the heartland of the US with close proximity to its raw material suppliers and an in-house DSD network allowing for superior distribution capabilities into its core customers. Tortilla King continues to innovate and release new products including low carb, net zero carb, and gluten free tortillas.
About Flagship Food Group
Flagship Food Group is a Hispanic-foods focused diversified food company that manufactures, sells, and distributes food products under the 505 Southwestern, Lilly B’s, Hatch Kitchen, Mapa Lupe’s, TJ Farms, La Tortilla Factory, and other brands. The Company also partners with leading food retailers to develop R&D-driven private label programs, and provides food logistics, warehousing, and freight management services within the food industry. The Company operates facilities and offices in Boise, ID, Denver, CO, Albuquerque, NM, Santa Rosa, CA, San Francisco, CA, Minneapolis, MN, and Moundridge, KS. Flagship is majority owned by CREO Capital Partners, LLC.
About CREO Capital Partners
CREO Capital Partners is a Denver, CO-based investment firm exclusively focused on the food and consumer products industry segments. Founded in 2005, the firm has successfully invested in over 20 food companies in the USA and the UK, and focuses on partnerships with outstanding management and premium brands. Investments have spanned the branded retail, private label, food logistics, and food distribution industry sub-segments. With most of its investments held via its diversified food business, Flagship Food Group, CREO actively seeks dialogue with food companies that have an interest in joining in the Flagship journey.