Feb 20, 2014

Head Country Food Products Division Is Sold To a New Family of Owners


Head Country Food Products Division Is Sold To a New Family of Owners of Miami, Oklahoma.

Category: General
Posted by: MAEDS

Head Country Food Products Division Is Sold To a New Family of Owners

2/18/2014 by CAREY HEAD

Danny Head woke up yesterday morning with a new title: Retired.

His friends will say Head has practiced retiring a time or two with little success. This time, however, it’s official.

 

Valentine’s Day saw the sale of a labor of love, his Head Country Food Products, Inc., to a new family. The assets were sold to Rocky and Kim Flick, Miami, Okla., and Gladstone Investment Corporation, a publicly traded business development company headquartered in McLean, Va. (Nasdaq: GAIN).

 

It’s a recapitalization that means more than just an injection of capital. With much deeper pockets, the new Head Country Inc. will have the financial muscle to take on new grocery markets and expand its customer base beyond the current five-state region.

 

Rocky Flick is now president and CEO of Head Country Inc. Long-time general manager Paul Schatte is the new company’s vice president.

 

As Head Country Inc.’s leader, Flick pledges to carry on the Head family’s commitment to making Oklahoma’s No. 1-selling barbecue sauce made from the same top-notch ingredients.

The Head Country recipes are the same. The manufacturing facility will remain. And the current employment level will be maintained.   “We believe in openness, teamwork and continuing the legacy of this family business,” Rocky said. “To put it simply, we want to sell more Head Country Bar-B-Q Sauce and create more opportunity for the people who work here and for the community.”

 

Rocky and Kim are parents of four including Butch, age 22, Trey, 21, Conner, 17 and Wolfgang, 15. Oklahoma State University graduate Butch Flick is a Continuous Improvement Manager at Cookshack. Trey is a junior at William Jewell College, Liberty, Mo., and currently studying history for a year in England. Daughter Conner is a senior at Miami High School and Wolfgang is a freshman.

 

Kim is a children’s leader with Bible Study Fellowship and is active in the Miami community, with her children’s schools and the family’s First United Methodist Church. The self-described farm girl from South Haven, Kan., also is an avid gardener, ranch and poultry manager and beekeeper. She’s a member of Leadership Miami, Class IV; former board member of Miami Public School Enrichment Foundation and is a member of Chapter EJ, P.E.O.

Rocky is a past board member and chairman of both Oklahoma Quality Foundation and Oklahoma Alliance for Manufacturing Excellence. He was a member of Young Presidents Organization, Tulsa chapter, and had a 25-year association with Blitz U.S.A., Inc. 

 

Rocky lives in this area while Conner finishes high school. The family anticipates relocating to Ponca City.

 

Working on behalf of Gladstone Investment Capital is Kyle Largent, managing director.

 

“Gladstone Investment is excited about partnering with this talented and experienced management team,” he said. “Head Country has an outstanding brand with a loyal customer base and we look forward to supporting management as they continue to build on that track record.”

 

Largent is as familiar with Head Country as Oklahomans are with his family name. Kyle is the son of former Seattle Seahawks wide receiver and NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Steve Largent and his wife Terry. Steve is a Tulsa native who served in the U.S. Congress from 1994 to 2002. Steve and Terry live in Arlington, Va., but, according to Kyle, are making plans to move back to Oklahoma later this year.

Kyle and wife Valerie are parents of three daughters, Ryley, Caylee and Reese. His family is continuing the Head Country tradition begun by Steve and Terry.

 

“My family was big fans of Head Country Bar-B-Q Sauce when we were growing up ... it was pretty much the only sauce we would use when we’d have barbecue at the house.”

 

According to a company press release, “Gladstone’s investment consists of a revolving credit facility, senior debt, preferred equity and common equity. Gladstone Investment, together with the executive management team, provided the capital in support of the recapitalization.”

 

On a more personal level, Kyle adds “I’m most excited about investing in a great Oklahoma brand and product in order to share it with the rest of the country.”

 

Head Country, founded by Danny Head in 1977, is ranked among the nation’s top 15 barbecue sauce brands. It manufactures three barbecue sauce flavors and a seasoning and offers a branded marinade.

 

Dallas-based investment bank Aspen Advisors, LP, represented Head Country in the transaction. Marc Still, Aspen’s CEO stated, “Our firm has been working with Danny for over three years to understand his vision for the right partner to take Head Country to the next level. Being an Oklahoma boy myself, I’ve long appreciated Kyle’s commitment to provide capital and resulting job growth in the Sooner state.

 

“When Kyle and I convinced Rocky to join the team, the stars just lined up,” Still added.

 

Danny Head now assumes the mantle of Chairman Emeritus of Head Country Inc. With the new title and time on his hands, he looks forward to devoting more time to his Head Country Bar-B-Q Restaurant and interests in this area, Oklahoma City and Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees.

 

“Over the years we’ve had numerous companies take a run at buying the company. It just didn’t feel right. I didn’t have faith the employees would be taken care of, the manufacturing would stay here or that the sauce recipe would stay the same. This, these people, this is right,” Head said of his decision to retire. “Most importantly, I want to be there for the business, if Rocky calls and says ‘help,’ we will pack up and help.”

 

You may take the man out of the sauce business but you can’t take the sauce business out of the man.

 

HEAD COUNTRY Food Products, the Ponca City-based manufacturers of Oklahoma’s No. 1-selling Head Country Bar-B-Q sauces, was sold Friday to a new family of owners. Established in 1977 by Danny Head, the new owners are Rocky and Kim Flick, currently of Miami, Okla., and Gladstone Investments, of McLean, Va., led by Kyle Largent, son of Steve and Terry Largent. Clockwise from top left, Marc Still, CEO Aspen Advisors; C.R. Head, Head Country Catering, LLC; Kim Flick, Rocky Flick and Danny Head. (News Photo by Carey Head)

 


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