Roman Meal sells U.S. bread licensing to Georgia firm; Tacoma company will downsize

Don’t worry about that for sale sign outside the South Tacoma Way headquarters of Roman Meal.

The company, established 103 years ago, is not leaving town.

Downsizing, yes. New focus for the business plan, yes. Some employees laid off, unfortunately so.

But the company will stay here at home.

Roman Meal officials were not available for comment Thursday. Official details on layoffs and other matters might be released soon.

In a recent news release, Georgia-based Flowers Foods announced it had acquired the Roman Meal trademark as it related to Roman Meal breads and buns in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Bermuda and the Bahamas.

Roman Meal of Tacoma retains rights in the world beyond America, along with rights for whole-grain foods in categories beyond the bread aisle. The company will license the Roman Meal brand from Flowers in Hawaii and Guam, and will retain ownership of the brand in Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.

Going forward, think Roman Meal cereals, crackers and snacks.

Details of the transaction were not released. Roman Meal is privately held and isn’t required to issue detailed public financial reports.

Any buyer of the Roman Meal headquarters will be asked to lease back a certain amount of space to the company to meet various administrative requirements.

Flowers Foods is one of seven baking companies with the license to sell Roman Meal breads and buns in the U.S. Annual retail sales for the brand total approximately $26 million, according to the Flowers release. Flowers will administer licensing agreements in the continental U.S.