When people eat, they usually do not want their food to have a bitter taste to it, but instead, a succulent, tantalizing flavor that makes them take another bite. At Ottens Flavors, business re­v­olves around making sure food has that effect. The Phila­del­phia-based company is the oldest flavor house in North America, CEO Richard Robinson says. Founder Henry H. Ottens started the company in 1884, but under the current management team, it has grown to serve large food and beverage manufacturers and currently has sales in more than 40 countries.

On a Roll Sales Inc. prides itself on its ability to meet the individual requests of its customers. “We specialize in listening to what our customers need and create and develop products for them that satisfies those needs,” says Alan Leppo, who co-owns the company with Margie, his wife of 39 years. “It’s all about what our customers want, not what I want to sell them; they’re the boss.”

There’s more to Mountain Pure LLC’s business than just putting water into bottles. The Little Rock, Ark.-based com­pany is able to be successful in a highly competitive business through a fully integrated operation that includes manufacturing and packaging capabilities.

As one of three brothers raised in Mexico by missionary parents, Phil Calhoun has a deep understanding of Hispanic culture. Calhoun is a partner in La Tortilleria, a North Carolina-based Mexican food pro­duct distributor along with his older brothers Nate and Dan. The three spent 15 years of their childhood in Veracruz, Mexico, with their parents before returning to North Carolina to finish their education, he says.

One of the nation’s largest family-owned producers of Mexican foods continues to expand and improve on its already extensive and comprehensive product line. Chicago-based La Preferida offers a complete line of about 300 authentic Mexican food products including canned and dry beans, rice, salsa, tamales, spices, pork rinds, tortillas, and chorizo, a Mexican sausage.

Hill & Valley Inc. is dedicated to making delicious sugar-free desserts and snacks. For CEO Scott Florence, this focus is more than just a way to tap into a large consumer market. “Diabetes has run in my family for generations,” Florence says. “My father has Type 2 adult onset diabetes, and my uncle died in his 30s of Type 1 juvenile diabetes.” Although Florence himself does not suffer from diabetes, his family’s struggles with it were enough to motivate him to change the company’s initial focus on a wide variety of traditional treats to sugar-free items, he says.

Guyana’s name is derived from a term that means “the land of many waters,” due to the many rivers that crisscross the country, as well as its location on the Atlantic Ocean. As a result, the country has one of the largest unspoiled rainforests in all of South America, but only five percent of its land is suitable for crop cultivation. Even so, the Guyana Marketing Corp. (GMC) is dedicated to making Guyanese produce and agricultural products more accessible to consumers – throughout the country and outside of the Caribbean region.

This year, Grenada Breweries Ltd. of Grenada, West Indies, has more to celebrate than its 50th anniversary, Managing Director Ron Antoine says. Its flagship beer, Carib Lager, is making waves worldwide, and its other beer and soft drink brands – already beverage staples among Caribbean consumers – are expected to follow suit.

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