Flowers Foods Buys Closed Regional Bakery

June 11, 2021
Flowers Foods has acquired the assets of a shuttered regional bakery in New England – to the surprise of another suitor.

Flowers Foods has acquired the assets of a shuttered regional bakery in New England – to the surprise of a Canadian baking company that thought it was going to be the buyer.

Flowers is buying Koffee Kup Bakery, a producer of bread, doughnuts and other baked goods based in Burlington, Vt. The deal includes three manufacturing facilities, which Flowers has no immediate plans to reopen.

Koffee Kup had closed its doors April 26, shutting down its three plants and throwing some 500 employees out of work. The closing generated a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the laid-off employees, alleging that Koffee Kup had failed to give advance notice of the layoffs as required by law.

Several baking companies emerged as bidders for Koffee Kup’s assets, with the leading one being Mrs. Dunster’s, based in New Brunswick. Mrs. Dunster’s said it planned to keep the two Koffee Kup plants in Vermont open, selling off the one in Connecticut.

But the court-appointed receiver of Koffee Kup’s assets abruptly approved Flowers Foods as the purchaser in a deal announced June 8, to the consternation of Mrs. Dunster’s.

“We were fully prepared to start operations on Tuesday morning, June 8, 2021, with purchase orders in hand, believing in good faith that the agreements we negotiated with the receiver would be signed Monday, June 7, 2021,” the company said in a statement. “Yesterday, we were shocked to receive an insensitive letter from the receiver revealing that over the weekend, [it] had negotiated the sale of Koffee Kup Bakery to a new party.” The statement emphasized that Mrs. Dunster’s had planned to keep two of the plants open.

Flowers CEO Ryals McMullian said in a statement that his company welcomes the “strong consumer following” of the Koffee Kup brands but added, “We have no immediate plans to reopen the bakeries but will be assessing how they may fit our strategic network optimization efforts in the future."

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