BETHESDA, Md., Jan. 24, 2017  — SJ Partners, LLC (“SJP”), through its affiliate SJ Capital Partners VI LLC and RLJ Equity Partners LLC (“RLJ”), an affiliate of the RLJ Companies, and has acquired majority control of Native Maine Produce and Specialty Foods, LLC (“Native Maine”), Maine’s largest fresh foodservice distributor.

“We are thrilled to welcome SJ Partners and RLJ to the Native Maine family. We have had a multi-year relationship with SJP and believe their industry knowledge and previous growth by acquisition success are a great fit. We’re also excited to partner with the exceptional leaders at RLJ,” said Joe Pizzo, the shareholder who will continue running the operation.

“We think Joe and his team have built a solid franchise and look forward to partnering together. Native Maine has an impressive roster of over 1,000 clients with many relationships that date over 10 years, who value its high level of service as well as its deep and impressive product selection (especially its local New England produce offerings). We are eager to work together to create New England’s top fresh foodservice distributor,” stated SJ Partners CEO Scott Johnson.

“We invest in industry-leading companies and Native Maine is a leader in its sector and we are pleased to become its partner and support its future growth,” stated RLJ Equity Partners Managing Director and Chairman of Native Maine, Jerry L. Johnson.

Joining Native Maine as an active board member and Vice Chairman is SJP operating partner John Lunde, the former head of Alliant (and then US Foods) Northeast.

About RLJ Equity Partners
RLJ Equity Partners is a middle-market private equity firm focused on generating long-term capital appreciation by investing in profitable and growing businesses led by strong management teams. Founded in 2006 by Robert L. Johnson in partnership with The Carlyle Group, RLJ originates structures and invests in traditional buy-outs, recapitalizations, and growth capital infusions. RLJ Equity Partners is a portfolio company of The RLJ Companies. For more information, visit

About SJ Partners LLC
SJ Partners is a leading lower middle market private equity firm that, for over fifteen years, has focused on the acquisition of consumer and services companies. It works closely with portfolio company management and maintains a group of highly qualified operating partners. It has won numerous awards including being named ACG NY Champions Firm of the Year. For more information, visit

About Native Maine Produce & Specialty Foods
As one of New England’s leading foodservice distributors and Maine’s largest fresh foodservice distributor, Native Maine Produce & Specialty Foods (NM) provides its foodservice clients fresh, high quality produce and leading specialty products. With 3,000+ quality items in stock, 1,500+ New England customers have access to an impressive selection of local, regional & hard to find specialty foods and produce. NM supports New England’s vibrant and diverse food system by providing locally grown fresh produce alongside some of the world’s best specialty foods sourced from around the globe. In addition, NM offers a growing line of 450+ privately labeled, Native Maine branded products to help its customers control their food costs without compromising quality. For more information, visit