Ferraro Foods

Italian foodservice distributor delivering quality products to the Italian restaurant and pizzeria segment

Ferraro Foods is an Italian foodservice distributor in the Eastern U.S., delivering quality food products, value, and reliable service primarily to the Italian restaurant and pizzeria segment.

Ferraro Foods has been a family owned business for many generations, and its goal is to make its customers and suppliers feel like a part of the family.  Ferraro Foods brings fresh ingredients, the finest products and quality service to its valued customers to help them grow their businesses day after day.

The Company sources some of the finest specialty food products both domestically and from abroad, bringing the best that the world has to offer to its customers.  Ferraro Foods markets and distributes over 4,000 products, including flour, protein, premium cheese, produce and other supplies to a variety of restaurants and smaller regional distributors.

Established in 1975 in Green Brook, New Jersey, Ferraro Foods initially operated out of a small garage with just a single truck. Today, Ferraro Foods is headquartered in Piscataway, New Jersey and its state of the art fleet has grown to over 100 tractor trailers which span the eastern United States.

The Value Creation Opportunity

Ferraro Foods reflects Kainos’ investment thesis in the importance of food distributors with a dedicated focus on specialty markets.  Ferraro Foods is a value-added distribution partner offering directly sourced specialty products and services in the attractive Italian restaurant operator niche.  The Company also offers an almost full A-to-Z product portfolio to all of its customers as a competitively priced, “one-stop” distribution service.  The Kainos team had the opportunity to meet the owner and CEO of Ferraro Foods, Michael Giammarino, through an industry relationship, and when Michael ultimately decided to pursue a sale of his business, he sought a partner who understood the market dynamics and success factors required to serve this niche industry who would also preserve the Company’s strong culture. Additionally, he wanted a partner to help him continue to expand the Company’s product categories within its portfolio to increase its addressable market and geographic footprint. Kainos and Michael also shared a vision to use Ferraro Foods to consolidate this highly fragmented industry, by acquiring other specialty distributors in existing markets and in new geographies. Kainos partnered with Michael and the Ferraro Foods team in 2018 to execute this shared vision together.

Change Capital At Work

Together with the Ferraro team, we recruited several key functional leaders, including a new COO, CFO and a Chief M&A and Integration Officer, all to support Michael. This allowed Ferraro to better consolidate the specialty Italian market, executing seven strategic acquisitions of smaller founder-owned distributors to grow its presence in attractive, underserved markets in its geography. These add-ons also increased Ferraro’s market share and led to synergies through purchasing, route optimization, and in some cases facility consolidation. Kainos helped Ferraro integrate the new facilities, including enterprise resource planning and IT infrastructure upgrades, allowing the network to work more seamlessly together. We leveraged Kainos’ industry relationship to help Ferraro enter new product categories including fresh seafood, proteins and expanded offerings in produce and non-food disposables. Kainos’ is fortunate to have partnered with the Ferraro team to execute on its growth plans in a short time period, even during a very challenging operating climate as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2021, less than three years into the partnership, Ferraro Foods was sold after more than doubling the business.