Courtesy of Heartisan Foods
cheese curds

Heartisan Foods to Buy Cheese Spread, Curds Processor North Country Packaging

Sept. 8, 2023
Barron, Wis., cheese manufacturer continues to expand its offerings just two years after it was formed by parent company Ronin Equity Partners.

Barron, Wis.-based cheese manufacturer Heartisan Foods announced it will buy North Country Packaging, another cheese manufacturer in Barron County, Wis., in a move that will triple Heartisan’s manufacturing capacity, expand fulfillment capabilities and increase product innovation across cheese spreads and curds.

North Country co-founders Kendall Goossen and his wife Maria will retain a significant stake in the combined company, with Heartisan CEO Gene Graf saying in a release distributed today that the Heartisan and North Country leadership share the exact same vision.

The North Country acquisition adds 32 different cheese spread and cheese curd products to Heartisan’s product portfolio, and Graf said that Heartisan needed the additional manufacturing space, as the company was “currently running our production facilities at full steam.”

To finance the purchase, Heartisan’s private-equity owner Ronin Equity Partners will use a $10 million revolving credit line that was established for Heartisan when it was formed in 2021. Heartisan came into being at that time through the combination of acquired businesses Red Apple Cheese, Barron County Chees and Cheese Brothers.

Heartisan’s flavored and smoked cheeses are available online and in more than 12,000 U.S. retail outlets. The company has seen sales and profits rise 30% annually since its creation, and it brings in yearly revenues of more than $50 million.

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

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