FORT WAYNE - A long-time Fort Wayne industrial baking company has a new owner. Michigan-based Blackford Capital says the acquisition of Ellison Bakery Inc., which currently has 100 employees, will "continue the story of growth at Ellison." Blackford Capital Managing Director Martin Stein says "the Ellis brothers had been looking for a financial partner that would help continue the legacy they had built with their father. We're honored to play a part in Ellison's next chapter and we look forward to investing in the business, the employees, and the community."

Rob Ellis, chief financial officer and former chief executive officer of Ellison, has announced his retirement. His sons, Jon and Jeremy Ellis, will stay on and Blackford Capital says "continue to be active in the business post-transaction." Stein adds "the Ellis brothers had been looking for a financial partner that would help continue the legacy they had built with their father."

Ellison Bakery was launched in 1945 by Donald Ellis in a family-owned garage. It serves as an independent manufacturer for industrial market, food service, retail and private label customers including Archway Cookies. Blackford Capital says Ellison is known for its "extreme flexibility," research and development capabilities and short run product manufacturing.

Ellison's Fort Wayne facility is 115,000 square-feet. The transaction is the first outside of Blackford Capital's home state through its Michigan Prosperity Fund. Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.