16 COVER STORY
Dan Klock is not your typical food man- ufacturer. In fact, with a degree in eco- nomics and a background as an investment banker, Klock is probably the last person
you’d imagine owning a food facility. But that’s
precisely what he is doing today — helping
those who created a food item, outgrew a home
operation and are now looking to upscale.
As CEO of the mid-size Portland, Oregon
contract manufacturer Bridgetown Natural
Foods, Klock and his wife, Kelly, first invested in
the company from afar.
The Bridge to Bridgetown
In 2002, Kelly Klock helped co-found
organic granola company Bear Naked out of
Connecticut. She and a partner grew the company until 2007, when they sold it to Kashi —
a Kellogg’s subsidiary.
“One of the things I learned while the business grew was there really aren’t a lot of food
manufacturing options for people who own
quickly growing natural, organic food brands,”
Dan Klock said.
According to Dan Klock, most of the manu-
facturing companies in the U.S are either really
big or ma and pa multigenerational businesses.
“The push towards food safety would make
it harder for those small companies to really
measure up to what big retailers wanted,” he
So in 2011, the husband and wife team
upped their equity investment in the operation
and took over the plant. When the couple took
over the company, there were only about 35
employees and it was “losing money quickly,”
according to Dan Klock.
Oregon Trail Leads to Success
Portland-based Bridgetown Natural Foods rides the snacking trend with its Gluten-Free,
Organic, Kosher and B-Corporation certifications.
By Kari Imberg, Associate Editor