Jelly Belly Candy Co. expects to move Myerson's candy manufacturing and shipping operations to the company's plants in California and Illinois. The proposed sale of the confectionery business coincides with the announcement of Robert Myerson's retirement after 65 years in the candy business. Ben Myerson Candy Co. opened in 1937, and in 1955 the company acquired Christopher's, one of the oldest candy manufacturers in the country dating back to 1887.
Carter and Luke form West Coast vending brokerage, Focus 365
Veteran vend product brokers Janette Carter and Robert Luke have established a West Coast brokerage, Focus 365, based in Anaheim Hills, Calif. The brokerage already represents about 20 vend product manufacturers and has nine employees. The territory includes Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and part of Texas.
Carter previously worked at Pacific Brokerage Co. based in Yorba Linda, Calif., where she was director of marketing. Luke was a sales rep at Brea, Calif.-based Elite Foodservice. For information, call 714-998-0365; fax: 714-998-5365.
Pierre Foods to acquire Zartic Inc.
Pierre Foods, Inc. has entered into an agreement to purchase substantially all of the assets of Zartic, Inc. and its affiliated distribution company, Zar Tran, Inc. Zartic, based in Rome, Ga., manufactures, sells, delivers and distributes a variety of food items, including packaged beef, poultry, pork, and veal products. The aggregate preliminary purchase price is $94 million, plus the assumption of certain liabilities, subject to certain post-closing adjustments.
Casey Breen of G & J Marketing buys Central Virginia Vending in Fredericksburg, Va.
Casey Breen recently left his position as Maryland account rep for Palm Harbor, Fla.-based G & J Marketing and purchased Central Virginia Vending in Fredericksburg, Va. from owner Michael Albright. Breen has formed CB3 Enterprises LLC, operating as Central Virginia Vending and Coffee Guys. He has one vending route and one coffee service route.
Microtronic AG names Columbian Coffee and Lincoln County Vending as regional distributors
Microtronic AG, a Switzerland-based manufacturer of a cashless vending, electronic key and data management system, recently named distributors for the East and Central U.S. markets. Columbian Coffee, based in High Point, N.C., has been named eastern distributor under the name Microtronic East. Lincoln County Vending, based in Fayetteville Tenn., has been named central region distributor under the name Microtronic Central.
VTL Group claims it will provide free software to vending operators
VTL Group, based in Auckland, New Zealand and active in the U.S., will offer its vending management software free to U.S. vending operators. A key incentive for making this package available for free is to prevent vending operators from using what's known as the "R" factor, a process where a site sales commission payment is reduced.
VTL Group will make the software available shortly after Jan. 1, 2007, according to Mark Bruno, president of Service America Group Inc., the Boston, Mass.-based U.S. affiliate of VTL Group. Vending operators will have online access to a database that will allow them to compare their sales and financial data to other businesses of similar size and geographic region, Bruno said.
Vending operators will be able to input data using handheld computers, route cards or via remote machine monitoring, depending on their existing hardware and software. VTL will also assist operators who wish to upgrade management hardware and software.
Eskimo Pie will sell off certain DSD assets to
CoolBrands International Inc.'s subsidiary, Eskimo Pie Frozen Distribution, Inc., has entered into definitive agreements to sell its "direct store door" frozen distribution assets in Florida, California, Oregon and Washington to Southwest Traders, Inc. for net consideration of approximately $5 million.
Le-Nature's declares bankruptcy
Le-Nature's Inc., which makes bottled waters, teas, juices and nutritional drinks, has been forced into bankruptcy by a group of creditors who seek more than $1.4 million, according to The Intelligencer in Doylestown, Pa. The company's products have been exhibited at vending trade shows for several years.
The move came after a Delaware judge appointed a turnaround firm, Kroll Zolfo Cooper LLC, as custodian of the Latrobe, Pa.-based company after concluding it had engaged in potentially criminal activity, according to court documents.