Barber Foods acquired by AdvancePierre Foods

Posted June 01, 2011, at 12:26 p.m.
Last modified June 01, 2011, at 3:08 p.m.

Barber Foods acquired by AdvancePierre Foods|

PORTLAND, Maine — Family-owned Barber Foods has been acquired by AdvancePierre Foods, according to Barber Foods president David Barber.

Manufacturing of Barber Foods’ chicken entrees will continue at the company’s Portland facilities. A release sent out Wednesday said AdvancePierre plans to invest “millions” in the Portland plant.

“As the food industry continues to consolidate and bigger players emerge, it was the right time for Barber Foods to join forces with a growing industry leader like AdvancePierre,” said Barber, son of the founder of Barber Foods. “My father always said: ‘if you find the right partner, don’t miss the opportunity.’”

Barber’s father, Gus Barber, founded the company in 1955 with one employee, in a 1,000-square-foot facility.  It  grew over the years, and is a major employer in Portland, with 670 employees in a 150,000-square-foot factory, according to the company website.

Gus Barber was the son of Armenian immigrants, and Barber Foods has been known as an employer of immigrants over the years. It has employees from roughly 51 nations working at the plant today. In the past, Barber foods offered on-site English lessons at the factory.

Gus Barber died in 2008, and his children remained owners and trustees of the company.

AdvancePierre Foods is the result of a merger in October 2010, among Pierre Foods, Advance Food Company and Advance Brands. AdvancePierre offers a full line of packaged sandwiches, fully-cooked chicken and beef products, Philly-style steak, raw breaded beef, pork and poultry and bakery products.

“We are very enthused about what Barber brings to our existing and future retail, food service and convenience business, as well as opportunities to expand our presence through their East Coast location,” said Bill Toler, CEO of AdvancePierre Foods.

AdvancePierre has plants in Ohio, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina and Iowa.

Neither company is public, so financial details of the deal are not being disclosed.

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