Best Maid Cookie Company

Unsolicited offer prompts owners to explore strategic alternatives.

Best Maid Cookie Company has been acquired by Le Petit Pain Holdings, a portfolio company of Arbor Investments

Founded in 1943 and based in River Falls, Wisconsin, Best Maid Cookie Company is a gourmet cookie manufacturing and marketing company. Best Maid provides custom formulated, frozen gourmet-quality baked cookies and unique pre-portioned cookie dough products. Best Maid’s products are sold into the foodservice, convenience stores, and fundraising channels across the United States. The Company’s team of over 165 employees operates out of a 100,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility, one of the industry’s largest in the upper Midwest.

Situation Overview

Owners Deb Dartsch, the CEO and second-generation owner, and Ron Thielen, the President and 40-year bakery veteran were considering succession planning when they received an unsolicited offer from an industry participant. Focused on finding a partner that would continue the 70-year family legacy and lead the Company through its next stage of growth, Best Maid hired Vermillion to run a highly targeted sale process.

Thank you for all of your hard work and determination. You delivered a tremendous result for us and for that we are most grateful. – Deb Dartsch, Owner & CEO, Best Maid Cookie Company

M&A Transaction Process

Vermillion worked closely with Best Maid Cookie Company for several months to prepare the Company for sale before going to market. Vermillion advised Best Maid on several strategic initiatives, including:

  • Advised Best Maid on installing a $2.5 million computerized bulk flour and sugar handling system for the entire plant. The system is expected to provide annual material and labor savings of $1.75 million.
  • Advised Best Maid to hire an interim financial controller to help prepare for financial due diligence.
  • Advised Best Maid on analyzing its financials to identify add-backs to EBITDA to ensure the owners were getting full credit with respect to valuation from buyers.
  • Advised the Company’s management team on highly critical meetings with buyers and ensured that they were prepared for all areas that buyers would be focused on.


Due to confidentiality concerns, Vermillion ran a highly targeted process. Vermillion spoke with 9 buyers and secured 5 first round bids. Best Maid Cookie Company was sold to Le Petit Pain Holdings, a portfolio company of Arbor Investments for 50% more than the unsolicited offer it received prior to engaging Vermillion and at an 18% premium to the next highest bidder.

We are elated to be partnering with Arbor. Their extensive and unparalleled experience in the food industry, and in particular the baking segment, made them a perfect fit for Best Maid, our management team, employees and customers. Over the past 70 years, the company has experienced tremendous growth adhering to our core principles, and we look forward to Arbor continuing that legacy and leading us in our next phase of growth. – Deb Dartsch, CEO, Best Maid Cookie Company

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