Food In Canada


Gay Lea Foods acquires Calgary cheesemaker

The Alberta Cheese Company Ltd. has become part of the Gay Lea Foods family of companies

Mississauga, Ont. – Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Limited is growing its presence in Western Canada.

In a statement, the company announced that it has acquired Alberta Cheese Company Ltd., which is based in Calgary. The terms

Michael Barrett, Gay Lea Foods president and CEO, with Alberta Cheese founder Frank Talarico and his children. From left to right are: Sarah Finot, Frank Talarico, Michael Barrett, Franca Pockar, Lourie Ann Scarcelli and Michael Talarico.

of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition, says Gay Lea Foods, “supports [the company’s] plan to grow its presence in the Canadian dairy industry while providing exceptional service to its retail and foodservice customers.”

Alberta Cheese Company is a family owned manufacturer that was founded in 1976 by cheesemaker Frank Talarico. Today it employs 28 people. The company produces Italian cheeses under the Franco’s and Sorrento brands, and imports and distributes cheese and other foods from around the world.

The Franco’s brand includes traditional Bocconcini, Burrata, Cheddar, Feta, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Provolone, Ricotta and Monterey Jack style cheeses, as well as a number of specialty varieties.

Gay Lea Foods says it will add the Franco’s and Sorrento brands to its stable of products. The statement adds that the acquisition will also increase Gay Lea Foods’ production capacity and expand its relationships with foodservice providers, retailers and cheese lovers in Alberta.

Gay Lea Foods also says it “intends to maintain full operations at the Alberta Cheese Company plant and preserve all relationships with existing Alberta Cheese customers, suppliers and employees.”

Gay Lea Foods is one of Ontario’s largest dairy co-ops with 4,000 members on more than 1,300 dairy farms, and more than 950 employees.


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