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Coastal Cos. Acquires Hearn Kirkwood To Grow Prepared Offerings

Coastal Cos. buys Hearn Kirkwood

The Coastal Cos., a Laurel, Maryland-based produce distributor and processor of fresh fruits and vegetables, has acquired Hearn Kirkwood, which will allow it to add grab-and-go items such as sandwiches, wraps, salads and snack trays to its product offerings.

Hearn Kirkwood will join Coastal Sunbelt Produce and East Coast Fresh as subsidiaries of The Coastal Cos. Each will have its own focus:

• Hearn Kirkwood: grab-and-go, ready-to-eat prepared foods
• Coastal Sunbelt Produce: perishable distribution
• East Coast Fresh: fresh-cut produce, salsas, organics

Hearn Kirkwood, Coastal Cos.In conjunction with the acquisition, Coastal Sunbelt Produce also will join the Pro*Act network and will step into Hearn Kirkwood’s role as the regional Pro*Act distributor for Maryland, Washington, D.C, and northern Virginia.

For John Reichlin, president of Hearn Kirkwood, becoming a part of The Coastal Cos. means opportunity.

“Our strength lies in producing and crafting innovative food products. The Coastal Cos.’ network is extensive. Joining Coastal will enable us to accelerate our growth,” Reichlin said.

Post-close, Reichlin will retain his role and will report to John Corso.

Operationally, Hearn Kirkwood will remain based in Jessup, Maryland, and will continue to produce the grab-and-go line and serve its specialty pre-cut produce customers from the Jessup facility. Operations at the distribution center in Hanover, Maryland, will be phased out and consolidated into The Coastal Cos. facility in Laurel. Coastal plans to absorb the majority of the Hearn Kirkwood team. 

“The Coastal Cos. has grown because we take care of our customers, we take care of our people and we invest in our business,” said Corso. “Hearn Kirkwood is a strong complement to our existing businesses and a great strategic fit for our organization. We look forward to investing in John and the team at Hearn Kirkwood as they continue to create great products to meet the needs of their customers.”

Founded in 1992, Coastal distributes produce and dairy in the Mid-Atlantic and is a regional processor of fruits and vegetables. 

Hearn Kirkwood was founded in 1946.

About the author

Kristen Brissette

Kristen lives on Cape Cod and enjoys working in the food industry. She loves attending food shows and meeting others in the field.

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