Tony's Fine Foods, West Sacramento, Calif., said it agreed to buy Columbus Distributing Inc., the Hayward, Calif., perishable foods distribution division of Columbus Foods LLC.

Officials say the deal bolsters Tony's Fine Foods' perishable food distribution reach to West Coast independent retailers and foodservice operators.

"Tony's Fine Foods is a trusted leader in this marketplace and our purchase of Columbus Distributing will allow us to enhance the best-in-class service that our customers have come to expect from us," said Karl Berger, chief executive officer of Tony's Fine Foods. "The marketplace will benefit from a streamlined distribution model that delivers high-quality product, more frequently, through a single point of contact. We are adding value to the entire supply chain and helping our customers compete more effectively over the long-term."

Berger said there will be a four-month transition period ending on May 31, at which time all Columbus Distributing operations will be moved to West Sacramento, Calif. Most positions will not be immediately affected through the transition period while Tony's Fine Foods works to merge the two companies' operations and assess staffing needs. Resources will be evaluated while the company invests in new services and functions for sustainability and long-term growth.

"The sale of our distributing company allows Columbus to focus solely on our deli and cured meats manufacturing business and allocate valuable resources to fund growth and innovation," said Ralph Denisco, Columbus Foods' chief executive officer. "After Tony's exits the Hayward Distribution facility, we will evaluate renovating the facility to create one of the country's leading deli and cured meat slicing operations, as much of our growth has been in pre-sliced, pre-packaged meats. We are also very excited about the opportunities that Tony's Fine Foods will provide our brands as they are distributed throughout Northern California."