A good service provider can make clients feel like they are the only company alive. Partnerships today strive to become seamless operations where neither party can tell where one begins and the other ends. This is the modus operandi of Schraad & Associates Inc., a sales and marketing agency for the retail food industry. As a full-service food brokerage firm, the company for the past 45 years has developed plans that get brands successfully on and off grocery store shelves.

Much has changed in the baking business and world at large since Zaro’s Bakery opened the doors to its first location in New York City in 1927. Food trends have come and gone, baking methods and kitchen technology have evolved and major corporate chains have taken a large portion of a market once inhabited solely by family-owned bakeries.

In a location like New York City, it is no easy task for New York University (NYU) to offer its students a strong value in its meals. Owen Moore, assistant vice president for campus services, says the Dining Services program has to provide creative, quality products while managing the increasing costs of goods, labor and healthcare benefits.

In a sea of corporate-run movie theater chains, Malco Theaters Inc. has effectively swum against the tide. The fourth-generation family owned business is the 15th-largest theater circuit in the country and has operated throughout the south-central United States for more than nine decades. The Memphis-based company will continue its success by maintaining its tradition of providing quality, personalized services while staying ahead of new trends, Senior Vice President Larry Etter says.

Larry Reasor had a simple yet effective idea in mind when he opened his first grocery store in Tahlequah, Okla., in 1963: sell customers the items they want to buy and put customers first. Today, Reasor’s namesake store has 15 full-service locations and two convenience stores/gas stations in the northeast Oklahoma market that continue to follow that principle by offering quality products. “Our value proposition is ‘experience the difference through quality, variety, freshness, innovation and service all at the right price,’” the company says.

When a potential client comes to Newton Industrial Con­sul­tants – a team of engineers who help manufacturers improve performance – it is usually for one of two reasons. According to Director Adrian Butler, Newton either is needed to help a dying company, or the potential client already has strong operations, but wants to be better. When Freeze-Dry Foods approached Newton in 2009, he explains, the company was definitely in the latter category.

More and more, big box retailers are super-sizing their stores by adding groceries and produce. As a result, if a consumer needs a new Wii game, laundry detergent and a couple of T-shirts, he can also do his grocery shopping at the same place. Small, independent retailers often fear for their business when a big box giant moves in, but this is not a huge concern to Thomas Balistreri III, vice president and co-owner of Sendik’s Fine Foods Inc. 

If there’s one thing Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory has learned in the last few years, it’s that the recession hasn’t dampened people’s love for chocolate. COO Bryan Merryman says that although a lot of people have done away unnecessary spending in light of the tough economic times, simple things like chocolate don’t fit into that category. 

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