People have team t-shirts, team caps, team cups – now they can have team coffee. One of the latest innovations from LaRue Coffee & Roasterie is to package some of its many varieties of coffee in flavors correlated with members of the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football team that is popular in its headquarters city of Omaha, Neb.

Family owned and managed LaRue distributes more than 1,400 beverage and beverage-related products from its 20 warehouses. The company services convenience stores, restaurants, institutions and business offices with coffee and equipment in 11 states. It also roasts the LaRue brand of coffee and sells it online and in select retail locations in all 50 states.

After more than 20 years in the wholesale ingredient industry, The Ingredient Company has a track record of success. The company has been working with companies in various segments of the market in Canada and the United States, and its goals include aligning with current product and consumer trends and offering top-quality food ingredients to the food, pharmaceuticals and nutraceutical industries.

Founded by CEO Al Frittenburg, the company focuses on working with its network of product partners to provide them with solutions. Frittenburg has been in the food business since the 1980s, having worked with some major companies on the industrial side, as well as a distribution company that was sold to McCormick. After deciding to start his own business, he founded The Ingredient Company in 1992.

If you ask the vice president of Sterling Pacific Meat Co., Luis Munoz, about the distributor’s processing facility, he will say it’s state of the art. Some may smirk at a vice president’s vested opinions about his or her own company’s operations, but in the case of Sterling Meats, all one has to do is listen to the experts.

Virgil Siedhoff Sr., owner and founder of Siedhoff Distributing, bought a truck in 1954 and started delivering milk in glass bottles door to door. He could not imagine then how much his business would grow over the next five decades. Today, the company has three separate divisions: dairy distribution, trucking and truck repair.

Whether it is tilapia harvested in Ecuador, farm-raised trout from Idaho or oysters sourced from the Gulf of Mexico North Atlantic Coast, Seattle Fish Company of New Mexico scours oceans, lakes, rivers and aquaculture farms seeking the best catch for its customers. Its founder and CEO Craig Risk explains that Seattle Fish Company, as a distributor of only seafood, is able to offer an expertise that many do-it-all distributors do not.

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.

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