More than 75 percent of consumers believe a fresh-food deli is an important feature in a grocery store, according to the National Grocers Association 2009 National Consumer Panel Survey. The same report shows 86 percent of consumers believe quality fruits and vegetables are “very important,” and nearly 40 percent of consumers want stores to offer more fresh-made foods and gourmet items. It was about 15 years ago that Kevin S. Jones decided high-quality fruits and vegetables and fresh ready-made products would be the basis of his business.

With more than 50 years of experience as a grower and packager of green beans, sweet corn, potatoes and cabbage, Michael Farms Inc. is proud of its history. Today, the second generation holds the reins, with the third generation already being groomed to take over. However, President Scott Michael says there is still a lot of work to be done. “I can’t really say that we have arrived to where we want to be, but we are working toward that goal every day,” he states.

The commitment to supplying the highest quality products possible along with ensuring that Marra Brothers’ products are fresh when customers receive them is contributing to the success of Marra Brothers Distributing Inc., a distributor of bulk and packaged food products in the San Francisco Bay area.

Everyone in southeast Virginia knows that nobody bakes breads better than Mama. Named after the founder’s wife – “Mama” Ada Kayer – Mama Kayer’s Bakery has been filling its customers’ carb needs since 1910. Although it is best known for its variety of soft bread products, such as French breads, Italian baguettes, Kaiser rolls and deli- or club-style loaf breads, Mama Kayer’s distinguishes itself from other bakeries through its rich history.

After more than a decade, Louisiana Rice Mill (LRM) LLC says it has established itself as the premier exporter for U.S. long grain milled rice in the Gulf Coast. Based in Crowley, La., the company specializes in converting rough rice into milled products and also manufactures rice bran, rice hulls and mill feed.

A subsidiary of Kalle GmbH in Wiesbaden, Germany, Kalle USA Inc. markets the cleaning cloths manufactured by its parent company and created from natural cellulose and cotton fibers, both of which are re-generable raw materials.

Communication is the key to any partnership, be it business or professional. When asked what advice she would offer couples who work together after spending 15 years running International Food Concepts with her husband, CFO Marilyn Albano says, “You need a good sense of humor.” 

Kunik Co. has come a long way since Russian immigrant Irving Kunik started selling grapes in the streets of Chicago in the mid-1940s. In 1947, he left the Windy City as the owner of two small grocery stores and moved to south Texas to pack and ship Texas citrus fruits. His son-in-law, Leonard Kroman, joined him in 1950. The duo packed mixed greens and carrots in the 1950s and 1960s, and they eventually imported tangerines and oranges from Mexico.

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