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Duke’s mayonnaise, a Southern staple, is about to get a new owner from NC

Duke’s Vs. Hellmann’s: Take 2

It started last week, with a blind taste test of Duke’s vs. Hellmann’s as part of a gathering by Charlotte’s Piedmont Culinary Guild, a collection of chefs, farmers and food folk at Small City Farm.
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It started last week, with a blind taste test of Duke’s vs. Hellmann’s as part of a gathering by Charlotte’s Piedmont Culinary Guild, a collection of chefs, farmers and food folk at Small City Farm.

The venerable Duke’s mayonnaise brand will be acquired by a Charlotte-based company under a deal announced Friday morning.

Falfurrias Capital Partners said it has signed an agreement to acquire the food business of Virginia-based C.F. Sauer Company, which makes the popular mayonnaise. The transaction still needs approval from C.F. Sauer shareholders.

Terms were not disclosed.

Duke’s traces its roots to 1917 Greenville, S.C., according to the company website.

In fact, Greenville announced last year it was naming a popular pedestrian bridge in honor of Duke’s Mayonnaise creator Eugenia Duke and all female entrepreneurs, the Observer reported at the time.

In that story by former Observer food writer Kathleen Purvis, she noted that, “In mayo circles, Eugenia Duke holds the position of matron saint.” Purvis also noted that Duke’s, a Southern favorite, “is still known for its tangy flavor and its lack of sugar, compared to Hellmann’s and other national brands.”

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Duke’s The Washington Post

Falfurrias deals

The Sauer deal is the latest acquisition for Falfurrias, a private equity firm co-founded in 2006 by retired Bank of America CEO Hugh McColl Jr. and former Bank of America Chief Financial Officer Marc Oken.

Falfurrias’ acquisitions have included fried-chicken chain Bojangles’, in which it acquired controlling interest in 2007.

Falfurrias agreed to sell its Bojangles’ ownership interest in 2011 to Boston-based private equity firm Advent International. Privately held Bojangles’, which is based in Charlotte, is now owned by Durational Capital Management and The Jordan Company.

C.F. Sauer, based in Richmond, was founded in 1887.

Products the company makes include condiments and spices. Its brands include The Spice Hunter, Sauer’s, Gold Medal and BAMA.

Under the deal, the food business Falfurrias plans to acquire will be called Sauer Brands.

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Deon Roberts has covered Charlotte’s financial services industry for The Charlotte Observer since 2013. His beat includes Bank of America and Wells Fargo. He attended Loyola University in New Orleans and is a native of Lafitte, La.
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