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Universal Pure, the Largest HPP Provider in North America, Acquires Stay Fresh Foods

In July 2019, Universal Pure, the largest independent HPP service provider in North America, acquired Stay Fresh Foods, an HPP service provider with locations in Meriden, CT, and Pennsauken, NJ. As a result of the acquisition, Universal Pure will now operate 15 HPP machines across six locations in the United States, will serve over 110 customers, and will have HPP’d more than 900 million pounds of food and beverage products.

Stay Fresh Foods, founded in 2012 by food industry veterans Amy Lawless and Joe Ragozzino, provides custom HPP services. Guided by a strategic “under-one-roof” approach and a laser-sharp focus on customer needs, Stay Fresh has steadily increased its offerings, including beverage co-packing as well as supply chain and value-added services.

“We are thrilled to join forces with Amy Lawless and her team to help fuel the growth of our combined businesses,” said Jeff Williams, CEO of Universal Pure.

Both Universal Pure and Stay Fresh Foods have played a major role in advancing the adoption of HPP over the past seven years. “It’s been very gratifying to see HPP’s transformation from a pioneering food safety technology to a mainstream approach that promotes healthful eating,” commented Lawless, president of Stay Fresh Foods. “Universal Pure has also been at the forefront, and we share a common service-oriented mentality. As part of the Universal Pure family, we can offer more resources and more locations to our customers, while assuring them that the things that make us special—our responsiveness and rapid processing turnaround, for example—will stay the same.”

Amy Lawless will retain her role as president of Stay Fresh Foods, focusing on northeast sales and growth of the combined entity’s beverage business. She will report directly to Jeff Williams. Joe Ragozzino will become the general manager of Stay Fresh Foods, overseeing operations in Connecticut and New Jersey as well as assisting with other Universal Pure growth initiatives. He will report to Randy Pierce, Universal Pure vice president of operations.

“As the demand grows for healthier foods and cleaner ingredient labels, Stay Fresh’s range of capabilities and expertise expands our capacity and geography, enabling us to better serve branded customers, retailers, and foodservice companies,” added Williams. “We are excited about the opportunity to accelerate our leadership position in the HPP industry and will continue to invest in our capabilities, services, geographic reach, and people to better serve our customers.”

Universal Pure’s customer-centric and turnkey operations deliver a customized, flexible end-to-end solution across a diverse, blue-chip customer base through the company’s strategic footprint of six U.S. locations. For more information, visit universalpure.com.