Really Cool Foods plant on auction block

An organic food company that closed its eastern Indiana preparations center late last year is attempting to sell the 78,000-square-foot facility as part of a bankruptcy reorganization.

RCF Kitchens Indiana LLC, better known as Really Cool Foods, employed 131 people at the Cambridge City plant, far short of 1,000 workers the company said it planned to hire when it moved from New York to Indiana in 2008.

The Chapter 11 bankruptcy the company filed in Indianapolis on Wednesday lists assets of $1 million to $10 million and liabilities of $10 million to $50 million.

To help pay creditors, Really Cool Foods has identified a buyer that has offered to pay $13 million for its assets, which include the 78,000-square-foot facility the company built.

The interested purchaser is Sugar Creek Packing Co. of Washington Court House, Ohio, according to court documents. Founded in 1966, the company also has locations in Cincinnati, Dayton and Frontenac, Kan.

A Sugar Creek executive declined to comment on the company’s interest in the building.

As part of the bankruptcy, though, Really Cool Foods must allow bidding on the building through an auction to identify other potential buyers. Sugar Creek will receive a “breakup fee” if it is not the successful bidder.

Really Cool Foods hopes the sale will be complete by Oct. 20. The company is represented by Jeff Hokanson of the local office of Cincinnati-based Frost Brown Todd LLC.

“In order to avoid the loss of the buyer’s offer and to maximize the benefit to the debtor’s creditors and bankruptcy estate,” he said in the filing, “it is important that the debtor proceed with the sale process as quickly as possible.”

Really Cool Foods was founded in 2005, and three years later began manufacturing natural and organic food products, mainly pre-packaged, microwave-ready entrees and side dishes.

But sales failed to meet expectations, and the plant closed in November. The company began searching for a buyer last year after lenders were unwilling to provide additional financing to keep the business operating, according to court documents.

Really Cool Foods had planned to hire 1,000 workers and invest $100 million in operations in a five- to seven-year period. The company spent about $24 million to build its Wayne County plant.

 

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: IBJ is now using a new comment system. Your Disqus account will no longer work on the IBJ site. Instead, you can leave a comment on stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Past comments are not currently showing up on stories, but they will be added in the coming weeks. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.