Shawna McAusland’s father Sanford White had an entrepreneurial instinct from early childhood, starting his first business at age 7. “He was one of those larger-than-life characters,” she says. “The police put him out of business the first time because he was making slingshots for the entire neighborhood.”

For President John W. Griffin, family owned Griffin Foods Co. is more than just a business. Instead, “Our purpose for our company is ‘Sharing the Great Tastes of Life,’” he declares. Based in Muskogee, Okla., the 103-year-old company manufactures high-end syrups, mustards, jellies, salsas and sauces. Griffin’s grandfather, J.T. Griffin, founded the company in 1908 when he came to Oklahoma from Mississippi to start his own business.

Franklin Baker’s coconut-based products are used by every major food corporation in need of the Philippine Islands-grown fruit. Desiccated, toasted, sweetened and value-added coconut are used for food applications such as, but not limited to, confections, cereals, pastries, cakes, desserts and baked goods. 

Faribault Foods is more than a food packager – it is a solution for producers looking to outsource their niche product manufacturing. “We’re a full-service supplier,” Vice President of Manufacturing Scott King says. “From sourcing ingredients to the end-product, we can and have done it all for all sorts of individuals.”

One of California’s longest-established winemaking families is continuing to evolve its business into new ventures while preserving the dynasty’s traditions. Don Sebastiani & Sons and The Other Guys are the latest chapters in a more than century-old family history. Both companies operate as separate entities under the Don Sebastiani Family of Companies owned by Don Sebastiani Sr., his two sons and daughter.

Hartland, New Brunswick, is home to the world’s longest covered bridge; measuring 1,282 feet, the bridge was built in 1901 and crosses the St. John River. Named a national and provincial historic site, nearly 100,000 people visit the bridge each year, particularly in the summer. Visitors come to see the bridge and enjoy the lush scenery of the St. John River Valley, but while they are in the area, they also can check out one of the newest brands in the snack market – Covered Bridge Potato Chip Co.

When a brand seeks to achieve household-name status, there isn’t a specific blueprint to follow. There are countless brands to emulate like Coca-Cola and Tabasco, but when does a company officially make the transition from category leader to the industry standard?

North Carolina’s Johnston County would be hard-pressed to imagine what it would be like without the Stevens family, which has lived in the region for more than 250 years. And for the past 60 years, it would be even harder to imagine life without the family’s hams and sausages.

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