Denver-based Flagship Food Group, owner of 505 Southwestern, has agreed to make an investment into La Tortilla Factory Inc. to support its future growth strategy. Flagship will become the majority stake holder in the company while the third generation Tamayo family members continue to remain valued partners.
“We are excited and eager to embrace Flagship Food Group and its entire family of companies and brands as supporters of La Tortilla Factory’s strategic growth plan,” said Jeff Ahlers, CEO. “Their investment acumen and broader experience in the food industry, including their success with 505 Southwestern, will support and accelerate our strategy, especially given their success and enthusiasm within the Mexican food category.”
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, Lilly B’s, Hatch Kitchen, TJ Farm’s and other brands. Most of Flagship’s brands are rapidly expanding, having experienced double-digit growth in recent years. 505 Southwestern, made at Flagship’s manufacturing facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is the country’s largest jarred green chile brand, and grew by nearly 50 percent in 2020.
“As we embark on our 43rd year in business, we are excited to have Flagship Food Group as partners. It was very important to our family that a new partner shared our core values and were genuinely interested in our people, our brand and our culture,” said Sam Tamayo, third generation family member and chairman of the board. “We feel fortunate to have found a match with Flagship and CREO.”
The Tamayo family started La Tortilla Factory in 1977 to serve local Northern California restaurants and retailers. Today, the company is the largest nationally distributed tortilla brand, and its product portfolio is focused on true, better-for-you, organic and low carb categories.
“As Flagship has continued to focus on premium-oriented food brands, and in particular in the Southwestern foods sector, it became clear to us that La Tortilla Factory was a perfect addition to our platform. Being one of the leading brands in the better-for-you segment of the tortilla and Mexican food space, LTF further enhances our ability to execute on our growth strategy,” said Rob Holland, the founding partner at CREO Capital Partners.
“We’ve gotten to know Jeff, Sam and the broader LTF family of executives and ownership over the past year and half, and our passion for helping them to build their business is very high,” said Patrick Moulder, a partner at CREO.
The new partnership will build on the reputation that La Tortilla Factory has cultivated within the food industry and community since 1977. Its 300 employees will remain in place and focused on the company’s vision to be the innovative brand leader in premium Mexican food.
The transaction closed on Jan. 27. Terms of the transaction are confidential.