Vertical integration and innovative packaging are keeping Wilbur Packing Co. ahead of the pack with the two products it grows, processes and sells. The markets Wilbur serves are completely different – all of the walnuts Wilbur processes are sold in bulk while the majority of its prunes end up at retail, mostly for snacking, Sales Manager and Co-owner Richard Wilbur estimates. The rest are used in commercial baking and at health bars. 

A dedication to food safety and innovative processes helps West Liberty Foods stand out as one of the country’s premier meat producers. 

The West Liberty, Iowa-based company processes and packages high-protein meats including turkey, pork, beef and chicken for foodservice and major retail customers in the United States. Products include private label deli meats and prepared foods such as chicken strips, patties and wings. The company also provides co-packing services. West Liberty Foods is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year.

One might say Vanns Spices is attuned to growth – both in the products it sells as well as in business. The company was established in 1981 by a Baltimore food enthusiast who enjoyed ethnic cooking. Particularly interested in Indian cuisine, she found these spices and blends hard to come by at the time. She created a Tandoori spice blend that she sold at local farmers’ markets and shops. Fueled by positive customer feedback, she developed a line of other blends that were also made available to local markets.

At Suiza Dairy Corp., em­ployees strive to make the firm the “first choice” in its market. “We seek to satisfy the needs of our clients and consumers with high quality services and products,” Marketing Manager Carol G. Rodriguez says. Based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the company is the top manufacturer and distributor of dairy products, juices and fruit beverages in its home country, she says. Originally, Suiza Dairy started operations in 1942 and grew to become the first milk plant in Puerto Rico to obtain the U.S. FDA approval to process Grade A milk.

When Sam A. Lupo Sr. and his brother John purchased a corner grocery store in the 1950s from their uncle, they had one main goal: to become known as a purveyor of quality meats and to develop a quality reputation in their town of Endicott, N.Y. The operation – now known as Sam A. Lupo & Sons Inc. – has grown and diversified to be much more than a corner store, but quality remains its hallmark, according to co-owner Sam A. Lupo Jr. 

We’ve always been taught that it’s what’s on the inside that truly counts, but Pak-Sher knows that what’s outside can be just as important. As one of the leading manufacturers of plastic bags used in the foodservice and grocery industries, Pak-Sher understands the specific needs of its customers and uses that information more thoroughly than any of its competitors.

A family with seafood industry ties dating back to the 18th century is marking a major landmark this year. Motivatit Seafoods LLC, owned by the seventh generation of the Voisin family, is celebrating its 40th anniversary. The company is the latest seafood-related endeavor for the family, which has been involved in the business since its first generation arrived in what is now Louisiana from France in the 18th century, says company President Mike Voisin, who co-owns Motivatit with his twin brother, Steve.

Being free-ranging sounds good if you’re a cowboy with a gun, but if you’re a hen, there are dangers. That is why Vande Bunte Eggs, which is part of Konos Inc., is the first company in Michigan converting its 16 barns of nearly 2 million egg-laying hens to new colony-enriched housing.

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