Firm says it is growing
There's a new corporate headquarters in the capital city.
Flagstone Foods, a leading supplier of healthy snacks, has set up shop in the Lawson Commons building -- the first food company to call downtown St. Paul home. And with a workforce of about 45 people at headquarters, the company hopes the move marks the beginning of a growth trajectory.
"The city has been very welcoming," said Flagstone CEO Paul Lapadat.
Flagstone's original holding company, Snacks Holding Corp., was formed in November 2010 when a San Francisco-based private equity called Gryphon Investors bought two companies, Minneapolis-based American Importing Co. and Ann's House of Nuts, based in Maryland. Recently, the holding company changed its name to Flagstone Foods.
American Importing, which has a manufacturing facility off Kasota Avenue, was already the nation's largest private-label manufacturer and marketer of dried fruits. Ann's House of Nuts, which was started in 1973 by a Baltimore couple, describes itself as the No. 1 privately held trail mix and nut company in the United States.
Privately held Flagstone Foods employs 1,100 people nationwide, 450 of them in Minnesota. It is hiring for various positions listed on its website, including jobs in marketing, financial and human resources.
The company distributes 1,500 branded and private label snack nuts, dried fruit and snack mixes to major retailers in North America.
When asked which retailers it does business with, Lapadat replied, "Just about any you could think of."
The former president and chief operating officer of ConAgra Foods' $2 billion Snack Foods Division, Lapadat has assembled a group of executives with deep food-industry experience at companies such as General Mills, Kraft Foods, Michael Foods, Pillsbury Co., Procter & Gamble and Ralcorp.
The company received an $80,000 loan from the St. Paul Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority to help with constructions costs related to the relocation.
In a statement, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said the city looks "forward to many years of a successful working relationship which will benefit both Flagstone Foods and the St. Paul community."
Lapadat said the firm chose St. Paul because of its "vibrant business community," location, amenities and the fact that it was convenient for several executives.
He noted that its private equity owner Gryphon Investors may look to sell the firm at some point, but is intent on building it into a snack foods force in the interim.
Gryphon has more than $900 million in assets under management, according to its website.
Janet Moore 612-673-7752