When your eyes are bigger than your stomach

As seen in Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

Gedney files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Pickle company M.A. Gedney has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The 121-year-old company has about $28 million in debt.

Chaska-based Gedney said in a statement that at first it tried to privately restructure its financial obligations, without a legal proceeding, but ultimately decided that wasn't possible.

Gedney traced its financial problems back to its acquisition of Ayer, Mass.,-based Cain Foods in 2000. Gedney bought Cains as a way of entering the food-service and distribution business. It was operating Cains as an experiment, the company said at the time.

In a warning of things to come, CEO Jeff Tuttle told The Business Journal in June 2002 that Cains "actually turned out to be more of a drain on our resources" than Gedney had expected.

Gedney had been trying to make the Cains deal work, among other ways, by closing and selling a Cains plants on the East Coast and moving production to Chaska in June of this year.

Gedney said in the announcement of the Chapter 11 filing that it will continue to produce and ship its pickles and condiments while it reorganizes its finances. The company doesn't plan any layoffs of its 120 employees, but warned that could change.

The company said in its statement that it intends to come out of bankruptcy quickly. It said it hadn't yet decided what the eventual mix of family and private capital will be.

Family-owned Gedney doesn't publish any financial information.