Clickstop acquires hot pepper seed company

Acquisition is the first in six years for Clickstop

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Clickstop, the Urbana-based e-commerce retail company, has acquired a distributor of pepper and chili seeds.

The acquisition of Pepper Joe’s marks Clickstop’s first venture into the food business and its first purchase of a business in six years. The company expects acquisitions to become more common, though.

“Acquisitions is a huge part of our growth strategy and we’re actively working and looking to grow in that way,” said Tammy Karr, president of the Clickstop Accelerator, which manages Clickstop’s small and medium-sized businesses.

Pepper Joe’s, formerly based in Massachusetts, sells tomato and pepper seeds, including those of the Carolina Reaper pepper, named the hottest chili in the world by Guinness World Records in 2013. After the acquisition, all operations of Pepper Joe’s have moved to Urbana, and Clickstop will fulfill all seed orders.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Karr said Clickstop did not bring on any Pepper Joe’s employees with the acquisition. Clickstop did promote Quinton Guenther, a former intern and the 19-year-old son of Clickstop’s owners, Tim and Nicole Guenther, as the “business unit fanatic” for Pepper Joe’s. Clickstop uses the “business unit fanatic” term to describe the heads of its business divisions such as Pepper Joe’s.

Clickstop has about 150 employees, most of whom are based in Urbana, Karr said.

l Comments: (319) 398-8366; matthew.patane@thegazette.com

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