Gay Lea Foods heads further west with acquisition of Alberta Cheese

Gay Lea Foods' Black River Cheeses. (Photo Supplied)

Ontario-based Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Limited announced it’s agreement to acquire the shares of Alberta Cheese Company Ltd. this week, effective October 13, 2017.

Alberta Cheese was founded in 1976 by Frank Talarico, and remained in the family name for fourty years.

“Today’s announcement represents an exciting next chapter for Alberta Cheese, as my family’s legacy becomes part of another family — one that shares our principles, and our commitment to quality and service,” said Talarico. “My family leveraged our heritage, passion and expertise to launch Alberta Cheese, and we are immensely proud to see it become part of a successful and growing co-operative like Gay Lea Foods.”

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Gay Lea Foods President & CEO, Michael Barrett with Alberta Cheese founder Frank Talarico and his children in Calgary, Alberta, on October 14, 2017. From left to right: Sarah Finot, Frank Talarico, Michael Barrett, Franca Pockar, Lourie Ann Scarcelli and Michael Talarico. (Photo Supplied)

The acquisition is part of Gay Lea Foods’ plan to grow in the Canadian dairy industry and expand its cheese offering. With the purchase, it will acquire Franco’s and Sorrento brands.

According to the company, this acquisition will also increase its production capacity. The company intends to maintain full operations at the Alberta plant, and preserve relationships with customers, suppliers and employees.

In the last nine years, Gay Lea Foods has acquired: Stirling Creamery, Black River Cheese, Hewitt’s Dairy, Salerno and Ivanhoe Cheese.


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