Despite growing into a nationwide distributor of premium specialty food for banquet halls, hotels, country clubs, restaurants, caterers and colleges, Progressive Gourmet has not lost sight of what made the company a success – maintaining a nimble size to serve customers faster and more efficiently than the competition. CEO Chris Collias helped lead a pair of mergers within eight months to further establish his company’s position as a supplier of choice for gourmet handheld snacks and appetizers.

Some companies like to find cheaper ways to get jobs done, but Pohl Food Service Inc. is not interested in shortcuts, President, CEO and co-owner Paul Bratland says. “Our customers know what [level of quality] they’re going to be delivered,” he says.

Many organizations across the United States are promoting local produce. In the Asheville, N.C., area, one of those organizations is the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP). Some of the reasons why ASAP recommends getting your tomatoes, potatoes and turnips from local farmers include great-tasting food that is also better for your health, since the shorter travel time results in higher nutrient retention; local food supports local families which in turn build up the communities; and local farms promote farm preservation, environmental preservation and protect local wildlife.

Supplying fresh fish to resorts, hotel restaurants and natural foods grocers throughout the Southeast is a 24/7 business. “Everybody wants that fish by 11 a.m.,” emphasizes Gary Reed, owner of Gary’s Seafood and Specialties. To provide that, Reed’s employees start filleting fresh fish from all over the world at 10 p.m. the previous night. The company runs two shifts processing fish six days a week.

Dorr Lobster is a family run business built on risk and innovation. Rick and Lynda Dorr started the company in 1978 on Bar Island in the downeast town of Milbridge, Maine. Once a busy boat-building and sardine-processing center, today the community of Milbridge is home to the country’s largest blueberry grower, Wyman’s of Maine, and to Dorr Lobster.

Based in D'Iberville, Miss., C.F. Gollott & Son Seafood Inc. has been a player in the domestic shrimp market since 1932. The company’s goal is to bring the best and freshest wild-caught domestic shrimp to its plant and customers.

There are many expressions that highlight how special cherries are – “It’s the cherry on the pie;” “the cherry on top;” and “life is a bowl full of cherries.” Cherries are a sweet summer treat and they come in many varieties. Blue Mountain Growers (BMG) packages and sells 13 types of cherries from farmers in the Walla Walla Valley and Columbia Basin regions of northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington state, as well as the Grande Ronde Valley in Oregon.

Then Louis and Carol Barbone opened a taco stand in New York City in 1968, there were only four Mexican restaurants in the entire city. More than 40 years later, Best Mexican Foods – the company the two later formed to distribute homemade tortillas to the city’s then-small Mexican dining scene – today serves hundreds of eating establishments in the Big Apple alone.

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