A cross-country merger between Cambridge City, Ind.-based Really Cool Food Co. LLC and Renaissance Food Group LLC, Rancho Cordova, Calif., will provide wider distribution to retailers of fresh-cut, value-added and prepared foods.


“The goal is to combine two companies to provide even more meal solutions to busy lifestyle consumers,” said Roger Harvey, spokesman for Really Cool Food. “Really Cool is going to continue to do what it does best, and Renaissance is going to continue to do what it does best.”


Under the merger, the Really Cool marketing staff will be folded into the Renaissance sales and marketing team, which will oversee the effort, Harvey said.


Really Cool Food manufactures “natural” prepared foods at two production kitchens, one at the Indiana corporate site and another in Syosset, N.Y. Renaissance was built on its inventory of fresh-cut and value-added fruit and vegetables.


“Really Cool Foods traditionally focuses more on center-of-the-plate entrees,” Harvey said. “Having that with the artisan touches from Renaissance will help differentiate their products.”


For Really Cool, “natural” signifies the items are fresh, nonfrozen and contain no preservatives, he said. The company plans to continue to a limited line of organic items,


Renaissance brings to the merger a nationwide network of production facilities and distribution centers. The combined companies plan to offer products under four brands: Garden Highway-Chef Essentials, Really Cool Foods, Garden Highway and Kitchen 1836, Harvey said.


In the past, both parties to the merger have targeted higher-end specialty stores. That focus will not change, he said, but also will include large retailers.


“The bottom line for consumers is that they’re going to have more options in their stores,” Harvey said. “For retailers, the merger is going to seem seamless.”


The merger is in response to retailers’ demands for fresh, high quality foods, Jim Catchot, president and chief executive officer of Renaissance, said in statement released by the company.


“With The Really Cool Food Co., we can significantly expand the menu of items offered,” Catchot said in the statement. “Our logistics and distribution channels provide retailers a wide choice of prepared foods within a short order cycle.”