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GS Foods absorbs Hayes Distributing

Jan. 14, 2021
Acquisition grows foodservice group’s footprint in Northern California; extends logistic capabilities, commodity expertise

GS Foods Group recently acquired Hayes Distributing.

GS Foods, which includes Gold Star Foods and GoodSource Solutions, is a family of specialized food distribution companies owned by affiliates of Highview Capital and A&M Capital Partners. The new partnership will combine GS Foods’ nutrition expertise with family-owned Hayes to deepen its capabilities and commitment to customers.

As one of the nation’s largest school nutrition providers serving more than 3,500 K-12 schools throughout the United States, GS Foods’ acquisition of Hayes will enhance the company’s presence in Northern California and extend its logistic capabilities, commodity expertise, online offerings and product assortment to meet and exceed the needs of the local school community and beyond, the company said.

“Integrating Hayes Distributing—a company that shares our core values and commitment to school nutrition—is an important step in GS Foods’ continued effort to establish a national nutrition supply system amid a highly fragmented, yet absolutely critical industry,” said Sean Leer, CEO of GS Foods. “Now more than ever, we see the value in creating a coordinated food distribution system to meet the needs of customers across the country.

“Combining with like-minded, well-established companies that allow us to extend our expertise, expand our footprint and further benefit new communities is a key part of meeting this goal.”

Since 1988, Hayes has served Northern California with foods and beverages. With an understanding of state regulations, nutritional standards and the region’s needs, Hayes is a leading distributor for schools and vending companies in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“Operating for over three decades, Hayes Distributing has local experience and credibility few companies can match,” said Jamie Edman, owner of Hayes Distributing. “That is why it was so important that we combined with a partner who shares our commitment to school nutrition and top-notch customer service.

“We are proud to integrate with GS Foods today, who I know will carry these values forward to continue serving our community.”

GS Foods said it expects to continue to serve the Northern California customer base as it works to ensure students nationwide have access to fresh, wholesome meals. With preparations in place, the transition is expected to be seamless as Hayes continues to operate from its current facilities until it transitions to GS Foods’ facility in Dixon CA.

“GS Foods continues to demonstrate its unmatched distribution capabilities while ensuring customer service and product quality are always the No. 1 priority,” said Steve Russell, managing director and senior portfolio manager of Highview. “Local partnerships with companies like Hayes allow GS Foods to grow and expand its operations—and bring its expertise to new markets—all while working to establish a much-needed national nutrition supply system.”

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