updated: 3/16/2012 12:48:42 PM

Little Crow Sale Brings 'Mixed Emotions'

InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report

The owners of Warsaw-based Little Crow Foods say the company's sale to Illinois-based Gilster-Mary Lee Corp. and Minnesota-based MOM Brands will be final at the end of June. Co-owner Denny Fuller says the company has offered retention bonus plans and employment search assistance to all of its approximately 50 employees.

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March 16, 2012

News Release

Warsaw, Ind. -- On Thursday afternoon March 8, Denny Fuller began what he knew would be a difficult company-wide meeting at Little Crow Foods by saying, “It is with mixed emotions we announce today that we have signed a sales agreement with MOM Brands and Gilster-Mary Lee.” He then went on to say that the CoCo Wheats brand will be purchased by MOM Brands. The company’s other brands, FastShake Pancake Mixes, Fryin’ Magic and Bakin’ Miracle Seasoned Coating Mixes, and Miracle Maize Corn Bread and Muffin Mixes, plus all other company assets, except the property, will be purchased by Gilster-Mary Lee Corporation. The sale will be final on June 29, 2012, and, by that date, Little Crow Foods will cease operations.

Since 1983, Little Crow Foods has been managed by the fourth-generation husband- and-wife team of Kim and Denny Fuller. “After 29 years of working side-by-side, Kim and I believe we are being called to make our contributions outside of the business world”, said Denny. Kim added, “Since 1903, our family has been committed to providing consumers quality, taste, and value in every package opened. We are pleased and confident that MOM Brands and Gilster-Mary Lee will continue that commitment in the years to come.”

Gilster-Mary Lee employs approximately 3,000 people in 14 different manufacturing facilities across four states. Given the number of other Gilster-Mary Lee plants, Denny says that he understands why it makes sense for them to move all equipment into one of their existing facilities, adding “but this is difficult because the city of Warsaw and everyone in our community have been so supportive over the years. We intend to help our family of employees get through this.”

Little Crow Foods employs approximately 50 people with an average tenure of 10 years per person. All employees have been offered a retention bonus plan and various special programs to assist in their search for future employment. Kim said, “Our family of employees is very special to us. We are proud of their character and so thankful for their contributions. Everyone who works with us will be a valuable asset to another company.” Denny added, “We would like all of our employees to stay with us until 6/29, and we are hopeful that their new employers will allow them to do so; however, we will certainly understand if this is not possible.”

Denny Fuller concluded that difficult afternoon by pointing to their faith. “After so many years of doing the same thing, we absolutely believe God is now leading us to do something else. But, we also believe God is so big, that this plan opens the door for positive changes for everyone in this room that could not occur without this sale.”

Source: Little Crow Foods

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