Puerto Rican bread and pastry company Pastelería Cidrines announced Thursday it has entered into a partnership with Small Business Community Capital (SBCC), an investment fund associated with the Small Business Administration, to fuel its growth plans, including the introduction of new products locally and its expansion in the continental U.S. market.
The partnership also allows the family to complete the succession plans for the business, said company Founder Manolo Cidre.
“I feel very proud as founder of Pastelería Cidrines that this partnership recognizes the company’s strengths, its management and employees, while accelerating expansion plans,” said Cidre, who established the company in 1978.
“After a successful history of nearly four decades serving the Puerto Rican market and now Florida and the U.S. continental market, the breads and pastries of Pasteleria Cidrines are in growing demand, and we are committed to continue to expand the market reach of our products,” said Mari Cidre, president of Pastelería Cidrines, who will continue in the same capacity.
Jaime Fortuño, new CEO, joins the company to support the expansion in the U.S., while members of the Cidre family will continue their management of the operation, including Guillermo Cidre, commercial director, and Christine Sepúlveda, key account manager for the U.S. market.
“As a member of the second generation of this family business, this alliance provides the needed capital to develop our business with a great strategic partner,” said Mari Cidre, who with her nephew, Guillermo Cidre, has led the day-to-day operation of the business for the past two years.
The partnership is with SBCC, a fund that provides capital to small and lower middle market businesses in the United States and Puerto Rico. It’s philosophy is to invest in small and midsized companies including women and minority entrepreneurs and businesses located in low or moderate Income areas with high growth potential, investments which create economic and social impact to the communities they serve.
In this case, the unspecified capital injection will serve to finance Pastelería Cidrines’ expansion in the U.S. continental market, company officials said.
The new capital also allows the creation of an employee stock option plan.
“Our employees have always been part of the success of Pastelería Cidrines and it is with great satisfaction that we will offer them shares as an incentive and an acknowledgement for their commitment and their key role in this new phase of company growth” said Mari Cidre.
Over the past year, company sales in the U.S. continental market have grown by 50 percent, executives said. In addition, new point of sales and new products are being developed in Puerto Rico.
“We are committed to maintaining our leadership in Puerto Rico. Now more than ever, we are focused on continuing to provide a product of great taste and quality, and innovate with programs that support our clients, whom we are privileged to serve,” said Guillermo Cidre.