NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE) – Riveter Capital, a private equity firm focused on investing in minority and women-led businesses, announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Healthy Lunch Box, Inc., a food service provider of high-quality and nutritious meals for children . and adults.
Based in Texas and founded in 1996 by Theresa Barajas, the Healthy Lunch Box provides cafeteria-style meals to charter schools, private schools, Head Start programs, health clinics, and adult care centers. The company uses simple, traditional cooking methods to prepare nutritious menus from scratch and operates out of its licensed commercial kitchen in North Houston.
“The Healthy Lunch Box team is very excited to partner with Riveter Capital for this next chapter in the company’s history, ”said Founder Theresa Barajas. “Healthy Lunch Box has established itself as a trusted partner for schools and other organizations to serve nutritious meals and snacks, and we look forward to leveraging Riveter’s resources and deep industry experience to further grow the company in the years to come. Throughout my career, I have been passionate about empowering and supporting other women, and Riveter’s mission and thesis really resonated with me and set them apart. ”
Nakita Johnson will join the company as president and will bring decades of school business experience, knowledge of child nutrition, and a broad perspective and relationships with the industry. Commenting on the opportunity, he said: “I am excited to join the Healthy Lunch Box and Riveter Capital teams. Having spent the last several years on the customer side of the business, I understand what Healthy Lunch Box customers want and need. The company has the foundation to provide excellent quality food and I am focused on building on that reputation. ”
Charter schools, the company’s largest customer base, have risen in popularity amid the pandemic; Most notably, Texas charter school enrollment increased nearly 9% for 2020-21 over the prior academic year. The Healthy Lunch Box provides meals under various mandates, including the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), one of the largest and most successful nutrition programs in the country. During Covid-19, a time when millions of families faced financial hardship and hunger, the USDA extended waivers to allow reimbursement for school and childcare center meals for all students regardless of income. The Healthy Lunch Box is prepared to meet the growing demand and continue to support underserved communities to address food insecurity issues.
“The Healthy Lunch Box has an impressive history and a strong reputation as a key player in school catering in Texas. As Riveter’s first investment, we are excited to honor Theresa’s legacy and continue to drive the company’s growth alongside Nakita and the rest of the Healthy Lunch Box team, ”said Colleen Gurda, Partner at Riveter.
About Riveter Capital
Riveter Capital is a private equity firm focused on investing in businesses operated by women and minorities from the lower middle market that we understand as investors and consumers. We empower founders by providing practical, strategic, financial and operational support to help take companies to the next level. With a flexible investment mandate, we provide capital for acquisitions, managerial acquisitions, recapitalizations, growth and expansion. For more information on Riveter Capital, visit www.rivetercapital.com.