The Chefs' Warehouse (NASDAQ:CHEF) sells food products and ingredients to gourmet restaurants, country clubs, hotels, and culinary schools. The Chefs' Warehouse focuses on being the supplier and distributor for chefs. Unlike most large food distributors, CHEF sells hard to find items like specialty cheeses, truffles, caviar and harmone-free meats. In addition, CHEF sells more common items like flour, milk and eggs. Because of the relatively high level of quality of the items, the company is only located near top metropolitan cities.
CHEF's total revenue for the full year ended December 2010 was $330M. The company also reported a net income for the same period of $15.9M.
The company's initial public offering of stock on the NASDAQ occurred on July 27, 2011. The company offered 9M shares each for $15. This was above the initial price range of $14-$16. The deal raised a total of $135M. The lead underwriters were Jefferies Group (JEF), BMO Capital Markets, and Wells Fargo (WFC).
CHEF's core business relies on providing chefs with high quality specialty items that they could not easily find elsewhere. However, procuring such items frequently requires many distinct suppliers each relatively small in volume. This poses a challenge for scaling a business to other metropolitan areas and to more chefs as finding more suppliers in the new regions and finding suppliers with a larger volume may sacrifice the quality.