Berkshire Partners, a Boston-based investment firm, and Javier Vélez-Bautista, an experienced food executive, announced the formation of El Dorado Foods a multi-category platform to acquire and develop innovative Latin-inspired food and beverage brands.
Vélez-Bautista was most recently Chief Executive Officer of Mission Foods, the leading producer of fresh and authentic tortillas and other Mexican food products.
“We are thrilled to partner with Javier, who is an accomplished leader with a proven track record for growing companies in this market,” said Josh Lutzker, Managing Director of Berkshire Partners. “His passion for food, unique understanding of the Latin-inspired flavors consumers love, and expertise building brands with enduring value make him an ideal partner.”
According to the investment firm, Vélez-Bautista will serve as CEO of El Dorado Foods. He previously held various leadership roles, including Chief Financial Officer and board of directors Executive Committee member, at Gruma S.A.B. de C.V., the parent company of Mission Foods.
After running consulting firm ValueLink for a decade, he rejoined Mission Foods in 2012 as its CEO. He held that position until 2018 and has since then been in various executive advisory roles, including with Berkshire Partners.
“Latin-inspired foods are some of the fastest growing categories in grocery today, and the landscape is rich with authentic, beloved brands with unique products,” said Vélez-Bautista.
“I look forward to applying my experience in this market to help entrepreneurs and leaders propel their businesses and could not be more excited to start this venture with Berkshire Partners. The firm has a long history of identifying and scaling brands that have a special resonance with consumers. With our collective capabilities, El Dorado Foods will partner with the most distinctive and innovative Latin food and beverage brands on store shelves today,” added the new CEO.
Berkshire Partners, a Boston-based investment firm, has made more than 130 private equity investments in primarily middle market companies since its founding over 30 years ago.