Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

HKW announces add-on acquisition by Fresh Direct Produce

July 23, 2019  By Press release - HKW

HKW, a middle-market private equity firm focused on growth-oriented companies, recently announced that its portfolio company, Fresh Direct Produce, Ltd., has acquired Emperor Specialty Foods. 

Founded in 1986, Emperor is a distributor of mushrooms, pears, and other specialty fruits and vegetables. This add-on provides meaningful growth opportunities for Fresh Direct Produce, which distributes more than 1,000 domestic, imported, and organic fruit and vegetable items. Emperor is headquartered in Richmond, B.C.

“With a talented management team and range of complementary products, we are confident Emperor will prove an important addition to Fresh Direct Produce, and play a critical role in our value-driven growth plan,” said Davis Yung, president, CEO, and co-founder of Fresh Direct Produce.

“The addition of Emperor’s products and customers, as well as a new location, will allow for smart, strategic growth opportunities,” said Kent Robinson, HKW partner and chairman of the board for Fresh Direct Produce. “This is an important step forward for Fresh Direct Produce and we are excited for both teams. The acquisition is also strategically aligned within the Health & Wellness sector, a key area of focus for HKW.”

Fresh Direct Produce is one of Western Canada’s premier fresh produce importers, wholesalers, and marketers with three distribution centers, two in Vancouver and one in Calgary. Sourcing and importing over 1,000 conventional and organic fruit and vegetable items from 35 countries, Fresh Direct Produce’s commitment to growth and development allows them to attract and align with the best growers, customers, and talents in the industry. To learn more about Fresh Direct Produce, visit

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