Frontenac Enters the Botanicals Market with the Acquisition of Monterey Bay

Watsonville, CA – January 11, 2021

Frontenac announced today that it has acquired Monterey Bay Spice Company (“Monterey Bay” or the "Company"), a processor and distributor of botanicals, herbs, teas, essential oils, seasonings and spices from its founder. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1997, and headquartered in Watsonville, California, Monterey Bay is a leading provider of botanicals, herbs, teas, essential oils, seasonings, and spices. Customers rely on Monterey Bay for its unique botanicals sourced globally, maintaining exacting quality and safety standards. Monterey Bay sells its products online through its e-commerce platform, in bulk to large commercial customers, and through its co-pack agreements, servicing a variety of end markets, including nutraceutical, food & beverage, and health & beauty.

Botanicals are natural substances derived or extracted from plants such as roots, flowers, fruits, leaves or seeds. Examples include elderberry, lavender, and ginseng. Over the past several years, Monterey Bay has grown significantly as health awareness among consumers continues to drive demand for functional foods, or foods that have positive effects on health beyond nutrition.

Teaming up with Frontenac is food industry veteran, Bob Aiken who will serve as Executive Chairman, shepherding Monterey Bay into a new phase of growth.

“I am thrilled to be partnering with Frontenac and Monterey Bay,” said Bob Aiken. “We believe Monterey Bay is well-positioned to deepen its market penetration and accelerate its long-term growth trajectory. This is an exciting opportunity for the Company and its employees, as we work to meet the needs of a dynamic and growing set of customers.”

Walter Florence, Managing Partner of Frontenac, said, “Monterey Bay fits well with our deep experience and expertise in the food & beverage industry. The Company has an excellent reputation as a supplier of a broad range of high-quality botanicals and other natural ingredients. As consumers increasingly seek foods and other products that have positive effects on health beyond nutrition, we believe companies like Monterey Bay will benefit.”

Florence added, “We are excited to be working with Bob and the team at Monterey Bay. We look forward to helping take the Company to the next level by investing in strategic growth initiatives, recruiting additional outside talent to the Company, and adding complimentary capabilities within adjacent product categories to complement its core product offerings.”

About Monterey Bay

Monterey Bay is a processor and distributor of botanicals, herbs, teas, essential oils, seasonings, and spices. Products are sold online, in bulk and through co-pack agreements into the nutraceutical, food & beverage, and health & beauty end markets. The Company’s website HERBCO.com has been delivering premium botanicals, herbs, teas, essential oils, seasonings, spices and much more for twenty years. Most of the botanicals at HERBCO.com are sourced directly from farmers and growers, enabling the company to provide premium products at competitive prices. For more information, please visit www.herbco.com.

About Frontenac

Frontenac is a Chicago-based private equity firm. The firm focuses on investing in lower middle market buyout transactions in the consumer, industrial, and services industries. Frontenac works in partnership with established operating leaders, through an executive-centric approach called CEO1ST, which seeks to identify, acquire, and build market-leading companies through transformational acquisitions and operational excellence. Over the last 50 years, Frontenac has built a leading franchise working with over 275 owners of mid-sized businesses as they address complex transition issues of liquidity, management enhancement, and growth planning. For more information, please visit www.frontenac.com.

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We invest in high quality companies, primarily in the food, industrial and services industries. We work with business owners, almost always families, founders or entrepreneurs, as they address complex transition issues of liquidity, management enhancement and growth planning.

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