Los Angeles-headquartered Century Park Capital Partners said it completed the sale of The Mochi Ice Cream Co. to Lakeview Capital Inc., Birmingham, Mich.
The Mochi Ice Cream Co. is the leading domestic producer of mochi ice cream, a Japanese-inspired handheld ball of premium ice cream enrobed in soft and pillowy mochi dough. The company’s products are distributed under the My/Mo and Mikawaya brands in grocery, club and foodservice locations nationally, Century Park said.
The Hashimoto family founded Mikawaya, the predecessor to The Mochi Ice Cream Co., in 1910, and Century Park acquired majority control of the company in 2015. At the time of acquisition, the company’s mochi ice cream was primarily sold in niche ethnic grocery stores and certain foodservice channels.
Century Park said it developed a thesis, based on consumer testing and research, that mochi ice cream was a product with potential broad market appeal. In particular, Century Park saw a convergence of trends around increased portion-controlled yet indulgent snacking, clean ingredient labels and growing millennial interest in authentic products. It believed that mochi ice cream could achieve expanded distribution and tremendous growth through increased customer awareness.
Post-acquisition, Century Park brought in a new executive management team and worked to develop and launch My/Mo, its general market brand, in 2017. Since that time, My/Mo has grown substantially. The brand successfully launched new flavors, an innovative triple-layer version, a vegan option and seasonal items, as well as pioneered the My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream Bar, a self-serve mochi ice cream freezer case, Century Park said. Distribution grew from fewer than 1,000 niche ethnic and specialty grocery stores to more than 20,000 grocery, club and foodservice locations nationwide.
“The Mochi Ice Cream Co. has become one of the fastest growing branded snacking platforms in the country,” said Martin Sarafa, managing partner with Century Park. “The future for mochi ice cream is incredibly bright, and we could not be more proud of what this team has accomplished.”
Craig Berger, CEO of The Mochi Ice Cream Co., applauded Century Park as a partner.
“Their strategic vision and operating philosophy, plus their outstanding relationship with the senior management team, unleashed the tremendous growth of the My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream brand,” he said. “It has been a great four-plus years and we can’t thank them enough for all of their support. We look forward to carrying the positive momentum into our next phase of growth with Lakeview Capital.”