My Fit Foods, Farmers in Tow, Steps Up Wholesale Program
My Fit Foods CEO David Goronkin won’t disclose the cost of doubling the size of its now-sprawling central kitchen, which opened in January, in Fort Worth, Texas. But he did say that in so doing the healthy-meal chain is capable of doubling the company’s revenues.
The additional sales are expected to come from a new customers—and that pleases investors.
“We love the business plan going forward, which is shifting more from the retail space they’ve occupied into wholesale,” said Julie Anna Potts, the American Farm Bureau Federation’s executive vice president.
In September the trade group, which represents farmers and ranchers in the U.S., recently became a minority owner of the Austin, Texas-based company. My Fit Foods, founded in 2006, operates about 50 outlets in Texas, California, Arizona and Illinois. The stores sell ready-to-eat and nutritionally balanced meals that contain about 400 calories.
The Farm Bureau joins existing majority partner Marlin Equity Partners, which made an initial investment in My Fit Foods in July 2015. That month the chain’s first backer, TSG Consumer Partners, exited. Marlin Managing Director Dan Sprawling did not return a call seeking comment about the investment. The terms of both deals were not announced.
The investments support management’s strategy to pursue partnerships with grocery stores, contract feeders and vending machines in office buildings. “Everyone is looking for ways to provide convenient, complete solutions,” said Goronkin, adding a new store prototype will open early next year in Austin.
Indeed, My Fit Foods’ website features a page encouraging “partners” to sign on. “My Fit Foods is the only direct retail and wholesale provider of delicious, fresh, nutritionally balanced meals with a USDA-certified central kitchen,” the page boasts.
Goronkin, who was hired in 2014, claimed the 30,000-square-foot production facility can turn out such meals around the clock. “It’s a large facility with lots of capacity and can operate seven days a week,” he said. “We have ability to scale that in a very meaningful way.”
Potts acknowledged that likely many ingredients in those meals come from the farms her organization represents. “I hope we have the ability in partnership with My Fit Foods to say that My Fit Foods is owned in part by American farmers and by part of our membership that’s actually producing the product” in those meals, she added.