Ignite Foodservice Solutions, a Denver- based independent manufacturers’ rep firm has acquired Pro-Pacific, a rep firm serving the Pacific Northwestern U.S. As a result of the deal, Pro-Pacific will go to market as Ignite Pro-Pacific.
The combined company now has a territory that spans Colorado, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Hawaii.
All eight Pro-Pacific employees will remain with the company. Ignite had one employee working in the Pacific Northwest, giving the company a total of nine people in the region. Robin Oury, Pro-Pacific’s CEO, will stay connected to the firm in a consulting role as the business transition occurs.
The genesis of the deal began as informal, almost networking-style conversations between Oury and Carl Kisner, president of Ignite. “We realized we had more in common than we didn’t. That’s when we realized this idea and we presented it to Alto-Shaam, which is one of the lines both firms represented, and they were supportive,” Kisner says. “Because of common practices and a common business model we don’t need to revamp too much. So, we can work on better communication with the consultants and the dealers and put that together. Our goal is to create a single message back to our factories, dealers and consultants we work with.”
Kisner does not expect this deal to be the last investment Ignite makes in its business this year. “Our goal is to create culinary centers and we have one in Denver and Phoenix. Now we have one in Seattle,” he says. “Our goal is to have another culinary center in Portland, too. We believe in having chefs and culinary centers because it’s important to have the ability for dealers and operators to train on the newest equipment.
“It’s about working in tandem with the dealers and end users. We want to give people more resources,” Kisner says. “In their test kitchens, a dealer may have one or two pieces of equipment from the lines we represent but they may not have all the new items from a given company. There’s only so much kitchen space a dealer test kitchen has. So we can go more in depth with our lines while working in unison with our vendor partners. It’s our job to create more symbiotic relationships with our dealer partners."