Bread is an important part of American culture. It’s a food that brings people to the table, it’s what holds a sandwich together and it’s one of the first items served at a restaurant. However, as important as this element from the grain group is, the art of baking it and serving it with pride got lost.

For avid wine enthusiasts, nothing is more satisfying than coming home to a well-stocked cellar full of the world’s finest bottles of cabernet sauvignon, pinot grigio, chianti and merlot. Ideally, the area in which these personal treasures are stored should be as sumptuous and sophisticated as the wine taster’s palate.

Producing just about every type of spirit enables White Rock Distilleries to benefit from trends in the market. Among the hundred of spirits the company produces are vodkas, tequilas, gins, rums, whiskeys, brandies, pre-mixed cocktails and liqueurs. “We’re not in every single category, but we try to be as diversified as possible,” says Bill Dabbelt, White Rock’s president. But what success in the spirits industry really depends on is strong distribution.

Regarding the management and staff of Valley Meat Co. in Modesto, Calif., Director of Marketing Adam Heffner describes them as “warm and fuzzy business people.” Explaining the company focuses on maintaining a comfortable, family-like atmosphere, he says the business is “not at all abrasive.” His father, owner, President and CEO Russell Heffner, agrees.

Snacking is an activity often equated with junk food, but it does not have to be. SunRidge Farms produces a line of healthy snack products specially formulated for the dietary needs of specific market segments. The company includes ingredients in its health mixes for men, women and children that supplement their daily dietary intake of vitamins and minerals.

According to Trinidadian legend, any traveler who eats a Cascadura – a local freshwater fish – while visiting Trinidad may go off and travel elsewhere, but they will end their days in Trinidad. The fish is considered a local delicacy, and if the legend is true, the study of the Cascadura and other animals and agricultural products will ensure Trinidad has enough resources to feed all of the visitors who eventually will return. 

A major disaster like a fire can be enough to close many businesses down for good. For Snavely’s Mill Inc., a fire that destroyed its operations in 1985 was anything but the end for the company.

People often try to explain how long they’ve done a particular job by saying, “I grew up in this business.” Sometimes, this statement is a bit of a stretch, but for Joe Shelton and his nephew Mike Shelton, it is definitely true of their time at Shelton Farms. “We worked in the dirt at our farm as kids,” Mike Shelton explains. “We grew up in this business and learned about every aspect of it. This is the oldest food business in our local market, and we have poured our hearts into it.”

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