SAVANNAH, Ga.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Najafi Companies affiliate, Najafi Media, a $2 billion content and consumer distribution company, announced today that it has partnered with author, restaurateur and entrepreneur, Paula Deen, to build and grow her business, Paula Deen Ventures (PDV). PDV includes Paula Deen Foods, Paula Deen Media, Paula Deen Restaurants, Paula Deen Cookware and Paula Deen Home. The new enterprise has appointed retail industry veteran, Steven Nanula, as Chief Executive Officer.
Nanula started his career at Tops Friendly Markets. After 22 years, he left as a senior executive to launch Logistic Park, his business focused on the food industry, providing fully integrated logistics, including warehousing, transportation and manufacturing. Before working with Paula Deen, Nanula and his family’s Nanco Group purchased and rebranded retailer Wilson Farms. For the last two years, Nanula has led the development of the Paula Deen Food Company.
“All of us at Najafi Companies have a deep respect for the hard work, unique content and quality products which Paula has built around her brand,” says Jahm Najafi, founder and CEO of Najafi Companies. “We know that the enterprise will be successful and valuable, as Paula and her team continue to bring quality products and experiences to her loyal fan base; and now we have a proven management team in place to build and lead the organization.”
“I couldn’t imagine a better partner than Jahm Najafi, with his track record of success. Jahm’s vision, attention to detail and entrepreneurial spirit will help us grow to new heights,” says Deen. “Jahm and Steve are both so well respected as leaders. I know this is the right decision to lead my team, as we continue to share quality products with my fans – whose love and support have built my brands,” adds Deen.
“Paula’s deep involvement in developing and bringing great products to market demonstrates her high level of commitment and passion for her business,” says Steven Nanula. “We are excited with the new enterprise to develop progressive business initiatives, as well as to strengthen existing partnerships that include Meyer Corporation, America’s largest cookware distributor; leading furniture manufacturer, Universal Furniture; and one of the nation’s leaders in natural poultry products, Springer Mountain Chickens.”
About Paula Deen Ventures
Paula Deen Ventures partners with world-class product lines, food manufacturers and various media properties to deliver great products to her fans. Deen has sold over 8,000,000 copies of her 14 cookbooks and is supported by one of the largest social media followings on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, on which one of her most recent recipes was the most ‘re-pinned’ globally. In addition, her recent annual Paula Deen Cruise was filled with “first timers” – new attendees to this yearly event. The Savannah, Georgia restaurant, The Lady & Sons, founded with her sons Jamie and Bobby Deen, remains one of the country’s most popular regional restaurants. Paula Deen Ventures is headquartered in Savannah, Georgia with offices in New York.
About Najafi Companies
Najafi Companies is an international private investment firm based in Phoenix, Arizona, with offices in New York, Paris, Toronto and holdings in sectors including consumer, media, technology, industrial, energy and real estate across seven countries. The firm makes highly-selective investments in companies with strong management teams across a variety of industries, often in areas undergoing rapid technological transformation. The firm takes a long-term view on its investments and focuses its efforts to create value through growth and superior performance. Najafi Companies funds its investments with internally generated capital, not through a fund. Free from the restrictions of a fund, the firm is able to move quickly and decisively when investing, and with no requirements to return capital to outside partners, Najafi Companies is able to make investments that create maximum value for the long-term.