Meat and poultry processorQuantum Foods LLC, Bolingbrook, Ill., said it merged with a former customer,North Star Foods Inc., St. Charles, Minn.

Fire destroyed North Star's Minnesota operation in April 2009. Since then, Quantum and other processors were supplying North Star customers.

Terms of the merger into Quantum Foods were not disclosed.

"We will be able to harness the unparalleled industry knowledge, technologies and expertise within these two organizations to fully benefit the customer," said Edward Bleka, Quantum Foods president & CEO.

"Combining both companies will enable us to immediately address our total customer needs and offer unique custom menus with a broad array of multi-protein options," added Patrick Thesing, North Star Foods vice president and co-owner.

Founded in 1990 as a hand-cut butcher operation, Quantum Foods says it has become a custom menu source for national and regional chains as well as a co-packer to retailers and a supplier to the broader foodservice industry. Prior to its fire, North Start processed and packed chicken, turkey, beef and pork products for industrial, retail and foodservice customers.

Officials said North Star co-owners Thesing and Brad Arndt will continue in active leadership and customer contact roles in the combined business. Quantum Food said it has more than 1,500 employees at two production plants and a distribution center in Bolingbrook.