Headquartered in Vernon, California, Mikawaya is a 105-year-old producer of Japanese pastries and specialty frozen desserts. Mikawaya is credited as being the creator of mochi ice cream, a handheld and portion-controlled ball of premium ice cream enrobed in a soft and chewy, sweet rice cake that enhances both flavor and mouthfeel. Mikawaya is the market’s largest producer of the Japanese specialty frozen dessert. The brand offers an exciting range of popular flavors including Asian-influenced flavors like green tea and mango, as well as more traditional favorites like kona coffee, cookies and cream, mint chip, chocolate, strawberry, vanilla and others. The products are distributed through both regional and national grocery chains and independent stores. The company’s products are also distributed in Japanese and general food service locations. For more information on Mikawaya, please visit www.mikawaya.com.
Jerry Bucan will be joining Mikawaya as its Chief Executive Officer. Jerry brings to Mikawaya over 25 years of successful senior executive-level management experience in branded consumer products, including category-leading food companies Nestle, ConAgra, Dean Foods and Mission Foods. Jerry commented, “Mochi ice cream is an emerging and growing specialty food category, and Mikawaya is the mochi ice cream category leader. So, this is a truly rare and exciting opportunity to significantly grow both the category and the Mikawaya business by bringing this ethnic-influenced product more fully into the general market.” Joel Friedman, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Mikawaya, will continue to be involved with the company as Chairman Emeritus.
Marty Sarafa, Managing Partner with Century Park, commented, “Founded in 1910, Mikawaya has been a traditionally run family business that has recently enjoyed significant growth due to its innovative and high-quality products. Our plan is to bring new resources and capabilities to the company to dramatically increase the market awareness and penetration of its on-trend mochi ice cream products.”
Century Park has also added consumer and industry executives to the board of directors of the company to help drive the company’s next phase of growth. New board members include food executive Ralph Denisco, the former President of the Nestle Ice Cream Company and the Drumstick Company, and consumer products executive Jim Buch, current CEO of Lynx Professional Grills.
OneWest and Gladstone Capital provided the debt financing for the transaction. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
About Century Park Capital Partners:
Century Park Capital Partners is a Los Angeles-based private equity firm that partners with owner/managers to build successful companies. The firm specializes in facilitating owner liquidity and business expansion by providing $10 million to $50 million equity investments for minority and majority recapitalizations, growth financings, management-led buyouts and acquisition financings. Century Park seeks to support management in accelerating the growth curve of well-positioned companies by investing in infrastructure, internal growth initiatives, and strategic acquisitions. For more information on Century Park, please visit www.centuryparkcapital.com.