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Vestro of Newport Buys Denver Maker of Frozen Cheesecakes

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Vestro Foods Inc., hoping to sweeten its sales in the dessert market, said Tuesday that it has acquired a Denver-based cheesecake baking company for an undisclosed sum.

Jan Holzmeister Cheesecake Ltd., which supplies frozen cheesecakes to restaurants around the nation, will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Vestro, officials of the Newport Beach-based food company said.

Holzmeister, which had sales of about $4 million last year, was acquired for cash and stock, said Steve Schorr, vice president of finance for Vestro. Terms were not disclosed.

Vestro officials said they consider Holzmeister a good acquisition because it fits well with Vestro’s dessert division, Heidi’s Pastry Inc., a supplier of frozen cakes and pies to restaurants and hotels.

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“We are confident that, with Vestro’s resources, Jan Holzmeister can expand its product line and serve additional markets,” Vestro President Alfred Stogoff said in a statement. “Together with our subsidiary, Heidi’s Pastry Inc., . . . we will be able to deliver all of the dessert requirements of hotels and restaurants and expand into the retail markets.”

Founded in 1974, Holzmeister produces a key lime and Boston cream pie, but its specialty is New York-style cheesecakes marketed under its own name.

Besides its Heidi’s subsidiary, Vestro has two other divisions specializing in natural foods. Westbrae Inc. supplies such products as soy milk, nut butter and natural pastas, while Little Bear Organic Foods Inc. sells primarily snack-type natural foods: blue corn tortilla chips, popcorn and taco shells. The natural food lines are sold primarily through health food stores.

Vestro reported earnings of $66,000 on sales of $6.7 million for the first quarter ended March 31. For the corresponding period last year, sales were $4.4 million and the loss was $170,000. For all of 1989, the company lost $400,000 on sales of $20.1 million.

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Schorr attributed the turnaround in the first quarter to a strong performance by the Little Bear division, which he called “a very well-run and profitable company.”


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