The Horizon Group of Companies yesterday completed the purchase of the business and assets of Ontario Natural Food Co-op of Mississauga, Ontario.
The Ontario distributor, renamed Ontario Natural Food Company Inc., joins Horizon Group’s regional distribution facilities serving customers across Canada. It brings with it more than 40 years of experience as a leading organic and natural food wholesaler in eastern Canada, a customer base approaching 1,500, plus Black River Juice and another proprietary natural food brand. It will continue to operate a 115,000-sq-ft distribution facility in Mississauga, supplying more than 4,500 grocery, refrigerated, frozen, bulk and household items to organic and natural food retailers and buying clubs.
Longtime General Manager Randy Whitteker will be staying on. “We’ve had a long history of growth and formed deep relationships in the organic and natural food sector,” he says; “as a response to a changing market, I know our customers and vendor partners will benefit greatly from this development.” He adds that nothing will change the organization’s passion for working with suppliers and retailers who are dedicated to improving the sustainability of food systems through the products they develop and sell.
Horizon Group Vice-President Terri Newell says the Horizon Group, “looks forward to working with its new colleagues and exploring the opportunities that a greater, combined strength will present.” She notes that customers will gain expanded regional service and access to a national platform.
Members of the Ontario Federation of Food Co-operatives and Clubs, Inc. (operating as Ontario Natural Food Co-op) agreed to the sale of the business and key assets of the co-operative in March.
The Horizon Group is a privately held, national network of subsidiaries, each carrying national brands and regionally unique products from a diverse range of organic and natural food (dry, chill, frozen, and bulk), natural body care, and nutritional health supplements. Subsidiaries include British Columbia’s Horizon Distributors and Christmas Natural Products, both of Burnaby, and PSC Natural Foods of Victoria; Calgary’s Planet Food and Organic Horizons; Corwin Distribution of Concord, Ontario and Directa Distribution of Pointe-Claire, Quebec.