Gallo Winery fire; Marie Callender’s, Il Fornaio and Corner Bakery Café all gobbled up

June 15, 2011

Gallo Winery suffered a mysterious fire in its Modesto plant on Saturday evening, June 12, 2001.

 The fire was in the glass making section where hundreds of thousands of bottles wrapped in plastic for transport were stored. Apparently the plastic smoldered, with no injuries reported.

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Perkins & Marie Callender’s Inc, owners of about 600 Perkins and Marie Callender’s restaurants in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, and frozen food lines, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware on Monday, June 13, blaming unemployment and decreased discretionary spending.

 Then on Tuesday, June 14, ConAgra Foods Inc. announced it purchased the Marie Callender’s trademark for $57.5 million, with the deal effective before the bankruptcy was filed, so they said. 

ConAgra has made Marie Callender’s frozen meals and po pies since 1994, with Marie Callender’s as its second largest retail brand. It also controls labels such as Chef Boyardee, Van Camp, Libby’s, Orville Redenbacher’s PAM, Wesson, Hebrew National, David’s Sunflower Seeds, Fleischmann’s and Peter Pan.

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Meanwhile, Il Fornaio Italian restaurants and Corner Bakery Café were just gobbled up by Roark Capital Group. Roark already operates Carvel Ice Cream, Cinnabon, Schlotzsky’s, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels and Seattle’s Best Coffee in other countries.

Bon appetit!

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