Dessert Holdings announced it has acquired Steven Charles — A Dessert Co., an Aurora, Colo.-based maker of gourmet desserts supplying foodservice and retail customers across North America. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“As the leading premium desserts platform in North America, we are investing behind category-defining dessert manufacturers like Steven Charles to help them reach their full potential,” says Paul Lapadat, chief executive officer of Dessert Holdings. “Steven Charles has a heritage of creating and commercializing award-winning desserts and that commitment to excellence in innovation and service has fostered long-standing relationships with a number of the leading foodservice and retail operators in North America. We see an incredible opportunity to supplement these strengths to support Steven Charles’ domestic growth while also investing to expand the business globally.”
Dessert Holdings, which was acquired in 2020 by Bain Capital Private Equity, offers products under three brands: The Original Cakerie, Lawler’s Desserts and Atlanta Cheesecake Co.
The Original Cakerie, founded in 1979, is a manufacturer of desserts with locations in Vancouver, BC, and London, Ont. Lawler’s Desserts, founded in 1976, is a manufacturer of gourmet cheesecakes, layer cakes, pies and other premium desserts based in Humble, Texas. Atlanta Cheesecake Co., founded in 1988, is a manufacturer of premium cheesecakes and fusion desserts based in Kennesaw, Ga. Together, the brands serve more than 250 customers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, South America and Asia.
“With our investment in Dessert Holdings, we have the privilege of backing Paul and his team as they build the leading premium dessert manufacturing company in North America, and the acquisition of Steven Charles is a perfect fit for that vision,” says Adam Nebesar, a managing director at Bain Capital Private Equity. “We look forward to partnering with Rebecca and the Steven Charles team to support their growth ambitions.”
In teaming up with Dessert Holdings Steven Charles will gain access to a platform and resources to continue to develop innovate dessert products at scale for its blue-chip customer base.
“Dessert Holdings has a complementary product portfolio to ours and brings capital and expertise that will help us accelerate our growth journey,” says Rebecca O’Hara, president of Steven Charles. “Steven and Charles are proud and excited to hand the company over to the capable hands of Dessert Holdings, who will continue to value what makes Steven Charles so special as we are aligned on a strategy that preserves our commitment to culinary innovation and extraordinary service for our discerning customers.”
Steven Charles (previously known as Steven Robert Original Desserts) began operating under its new name in January 2021. According to the company, the name change pays homage to Steven Fabos, founder and co-CEO, and Charles Kosmont, chairman and co-CEO, while building on its history of desserts.
Mr. Fabos founded the company in 1995 in a one-room bakery in Los Angeles. As demand for the company’s small-batch cheesecakes grew, Mr. Fabos expanded the business over the next 10 years, opening large-scale commercial bakeries in Aurora, Colo., and Pembroke, NC. In 2004, Mr. Kosmont, a Venezuelan immigrant with a passion for agriculture and an eye for finding fresh ingredients, joined the company.