For Ron Reinhardt, it was finally time to sit back and “Take a Break”


After selling Take A Break to five different buyers in 2008, Ron Reinhardt decided to keep a specialized portion of the operation for his daughter. When Ron decided to sell that remaining piece, there were challenges, but VBB Advisor delivered the right result.

A five-way deal in 2008

When the five-way sale went down in 2008, Take A Break was rolling along with $40 million in annual sales. “We were a good-sized company, but we decided to keep a small part of the operation for my daughter, Sharon Alderman, because she was looking for a challenge and had the energy to take it on,” said Reinhardt. Sharon is still affiliated with the business.

Covering a wide area

The specialized portion of the business that Reinhardt kept, consisted almost entirely of supplying coffee to convenience stores, restaurants, and casinos. The company had routes covering a wide region in California – Escondido, Corona and Santa Maria – along with a sizeable operation in Las Vegas. Reinhardt acknowledges that covering such a wide area was a challenge, one reason that led to the sale.

The tipping point

“Two other things really put us over the top on selling the business – a key man in the operation, with me for 27 years, was experiencing some health problems and of course – COVID, which knocked our sales to 45% of where we had been,” he said. “We knew it was time to sell and that is when we turned to Mike Kelner.”

A challenging sale

“We knew it was going to be a challenging sale, because it is a niche market that most people and most operators, don’t understand,” said Reinhardt. “Everyone understands office coffee, they understand micro markets, they understand vending, but they don't understand resale coffee. Our competition was big distributors, roasters and people of that nature. It was a different kind of deal for sure.”

Reinhardt was pleased

Reinhardt has some experience with M&A in the convenience services industry. “I've bought a bunch of companies over the years, and I've sold a few. With Mike Kelner, I was able to just sit back and let Mike do all the work. I was pleased with the way he did that,” he said. “When you are working with Kelner, you never have to call him and ask, "Hey, still on the job?” He did exactly what he said he would do.”

Numbers were better than expected

Confidentiality is such a key issue when selling a company and VBB was able to keep knowledge of the pending transaction off the street, an issue that concerned Reinhardt. “The biggest fear that you always have when you sell something is that the word is going to get out and you're going to get hammered before the deal is done,” he said. “Apparently, it was a buyer's concern because they made us wait six months to confirm numbers, during which time we actually improved the numbers, so it came out better for us. Mike did this deal in a manner that didn't telegraph everybody to go start sitting on the doorstep of our customers. That was good.”

“A pretty good grade”

Asked what type of grade he would give Mike Kelner and VBB Advisors, Reinhardt said he could do better than just give a letter grade. “If I was going to go out and sell another company, I would hire him, so I guess that gives him a pretty good grade,” Reinhardt said. “I don't know how to grade it, but I think his word is good, his follow-up is good. Overall, he did a great job. I was pleased."

Just warming up at 85

“I probably wasn't as excited as a normal seller. I wasn't sitting here needing the money. I wasn't sitting here doing anything except just trying to go off into the sunset,” Reinhardt noted. “My needs and wants are a little different than most sellers. I'm going to turn 85 pretty quick here – but you know what, I don't think I'm at my prime yet!”

As a sell side business broker, nothing is more gratifying than working with an industry veteran like Ron Reinhardt, who has been involved in many deals over the years. To receive a nice endorsement from Ron, a true entrepreneur in our industry, is very satisfying.

Ron is right about this

Reinhardt is correct about one thing for sure: No way is he past his prime! I’m looking forward to his next deal.

Does selling your company look like a challenge?

Here is the report we are receiving from operators: Workplaces are filling up again and sales figures are improving in the OCS, vending and micro market channels. If this positive development has you contemplating an exit strategy, let’s talk about it. You may be looking at your situation and saying, “My company is going to be tough to sell.” Chances are, it will not be as difficult as you think.

As we did with Ron Reinhardt, who clearly has a challenging deal, we can find the right buyer for you. There are plenty of active buyers out there and VBB Advisors will market your company in a way that can result in multiple offers. Our process is proven. Our process works.

Our Philosophy at VBB Advisors

“No matter what is going on with the economy or the world, it is time to sell your business if you are ready and we can make the right deal - a deal that makes sense for you, your family and your company.”

Buyers come to me because they know that I serve sellers who have thoroughly and thoughtfully considered their exit strategy with my help. That is the type of seller that you want to be – a seller who has their ducks in order, has taken steps to make their business as attractive as possible and a seller who values their employees enough to make a deal that everyone will feel good about.

Take that critical first step. That is often the toughest one to take.

Order my free 2022 Exit Strategy Planner. At the very least, it will provoke some thought, and this is a good time to think about your future.

Whatever your reasons are to sell your company - the timing, a sense of frustration, the desire to enjoy life or an interest in rewarding yourself for years of hard work – VBB Advisors can help you realize your goals.

I am Mike Kelner, the leading sell side intermediary in the convenience services industry. Let’s sit down and have a conversation. Use this appointment scheduler to set up a meeting with me.

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