While many food manufacturers serve foodservice and retail clients, tortilla maker Fresca Mexican Foods focuses primarily on the foodservice industry, which helps explain how it can offer a fresher and more supple product that doesn’t tear or crack when rolled into wraps or burritos. The Boise, Idaho-based company uses few preservatives in its products, which have a refrigerated shelf life of 10 to 14 days – compared to the typical retail product, which is required to have a shelf life of 60 to 90 days.

Ask most caffeine lovers and they’ll likely agree that not all coffee is created equal. What’s that got to do with salmon? Everything, according to Terry Drost, general manager of Esqu Seafood in Fredericton, New Brunswick. “If you ask, the majority of people, they’ll likely tell you that all salmon is the same, but that’s usually because they haven’t had the opportunity to experience something different,” Drost says.

Although it doesn’t cross our minds as we bite into a steak at a restaurant, that meat comes from somewhere. While we focus on the quality of the restaurant and how it prepares the food, shouldn’t it be just as important to understand the quality put into the processing of the food?

The company is always looking for ‘the next big thing.’Knowing what’s hot before it even hits the market is a key chapter in the 25-year success story of Hot Mama’s Foods. The company was established in 1984 as an all-natural vegetable salsa business run out of founder Cheri Martinez’s Miller Falls, Mass., home kitchen. When President Matt Morse caught wind of the up-and-coming business, he immediately saw potential. “She was ahead of her time,” he says. “When I bought the company in 1991, she was making all-natural sandwiches sold locally, different flavored hummus and fresh, chunky salsa – mild, medium and hot – that’s homey and hardy, almost like a salad. Everything was strictly vegan across the board.”

Based in Dayton, Ohio, the fresh fruit and vegetable wholesale company ProduceOne serves an array of clients, including restaurants, schools, hospitals, arenas and hotels. The Pavlofsky family founded the firm in 1948, and today – three generations later – it employs a staff of 73 and operates locations in Dayton and Columbus, Ohio. In addition to produce, ProduceOne offers dairy products, herbs and prepared salads.

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