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  • Westar - Food and Drink International
    into remodeling and new store construction in the past six years and notes it is money well spent It has all been part of reimagining the concept and making our experience exceptional for our guests matching the quality of the food he says Westermajer says the company has an agreement with Hardee s to add 11 stores over the next five years Branching Out In addition to Hardee s Westar recently added two Corner Bakery Cafe restaurants in the Kansas City market under Café Foods Inc We wanted to add some balance to our company Westermajer says We ve done really well with Hardee s but we felt we needed another restaurant brand to partner with us Corner Bakery Cafe is an exceptional concept with great operations a great menu and is well positioned in the fast casual segment Just as it is planning to grow its Hardee s footprint Westar plans to grow its Corner Bakery Cafe We also have an 11 store development agreement with Corner Bakery Cafe Westermajer says We are planning on opening two to three new cafes per year Although it is relatively small Westar operates like a larger corporate entity The company has a general manager in place at every location and district managers oversee from three to eight stores depending on geography We have strong operational procedures in place because good procedures ensure exceptional operations Westermajer says We also have strong relationships with both Hardee s and Corner Bakery Cafe Both concepts have exceptional management teams in place that work well with its franchises Westar invested in initiatives to ensure payment card industry compliance and upgraded its POS system That included investing in a VeriFone system for all of its stores and it upgraded to the Windows 7 operating system for its back

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/profiles1/1493-westar (2016-04-27)
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  • Tony’s Houston - Food and Drink International
    Italian Food Conquered the World In the book Mariani cites Vallone as one of the pioneers of the new wave of Italian cooking in this country Vallone s flagship restaurant Tony s one of the Houston s most treasured restaurants in the words of one the city s top food writers remains the centerpiece of his restaurant empire But you will also find Vallone in the kitchen of his casual Italian concept Ciao Bello my neighborhood Italian restaurant as he likes to call it Named the best Italian restaurant in Houston by the Houston Press in 2013 Ciao Bello is known for its house made pastas and its Roman style sottile thin crust pizzas His new steak seafood and pasta concept known simply as Vallone s opened in late 2013 and has already been touted as the best steakhouse in Houston At Vallone s we have the best steaks in America Vallone says including our signature 55 day dry aged rib eye which is butchered and aged in house But the restaurant is so much more than just a steakhouse he says noting that the pastas are all homemade and that the seafood is sourced both locally from the Gulf of Mexico and internationally including sushi grade tuna from the Pacific and lobster from the Atlantic for example At each of his restaurants Vallone works closely with his chefs and oversees every aspect of the guest s experience from the floral displays to the many works of contemporary and modern art that adorn the walls of each venue from the mise en place of each dish to the more than 1 100 lot wine list And while Tony s with its focus on innovative and contemporary fine dining is widely considered one of the top dining destinations in the country

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/profiles1/1492-tonys-houston (2016-04-27)
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  • The Vine - Martini & Wine Bar - Food and Drink International
    of appetizers and entrees Today the menu features more than 64 items available to meet the demands of the local customers that include a wide variety of appetizers sandwiches salads entrees and desserts Pruitt also has focused on The Vine s beverage portfolio with the help of his Front of the House Manager Dan Kmieciak By focusing on new concepts and cocktails The Vine now has a list of more than 75 cocktails The menu is very eclectic Pruitt says We never lock ourselves into one style Since day one we have never been afraid to try something new Starting with one head chef and a staff of four in the kitchen The Vine now has expanded its kitchen crew to 15 culinary trained professionals and two sous chefs Head Chef Steven Anderson a graduate of the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago now leads a kitchen line of seven cooks during a single shift unless they are hosting a big event or dinner Eclectic Menu Pruitt and Anderson both took menu development classes before their involvement with The Vine I m always running with ideas says Pruitt We work as a team to create new ideas and concepts Unique to the Chicago suburbs The Vine was one of the only restaurants that offered a social style atmosphere with a warm and inviting dining experience In 2008 The Vine expanded its operations to include an outdoor patio with seating for more than 80 a full service bar and TVs To accommodate the increase in customer base The Vine expanded the restaurant by doubling the dining room adding a private dining room and tripling the size of the kitchen During the eight years of being in operation The Vine focused on bringing live music to local nightlife by incorporating open mic

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/profiles1/1491-the-vine-martini-a-wine-bar (2016-04-27)
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  • Terra Spice Co. - Food and Drink International
    the building at 68 F year round and separate air filtration systems were installed for the ingredient and packing areas We concentrated most on the quality of the air and the layout for receiving manipulating and storing our product which has to happen in a nice flowing circle Abbott explains A receiving bay was built with two overhead doors and a 12 ton air unit which helps maintain constant temperature throughout the facility even when the doors open We will be able to receive product properly and not have the heat and humidity rushing in Abbott says It creates a better level of service and better product Office space was also included for individual workstations Each employee has his or her own desk computer and phone to get work done with updated equipment and systems It s my role as the business owner to give everyone the tools they need to do their jobs Abbott says I haven t been doing that The tool we needed was this building We were pirates in a canoe on the high seas Loyal Team There are only 10 employees at Terra Spice including Abbott but the team is focused on continued growth and success Experienced chefs are hired to blend spices answer phones to provide product information consult with chefs purchasing and create new blends I can t do everything and I think that the key and the thing that sets us apart is that we have a great team Abbott says We have an amazing crew of people working for us now from different walks and avenues of life Every employee has worked on the production line and filled orders to understand the demand and learn the company s products and systems It s a lot like a kitchen it s pretty

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/profiles1/1490-terra-spice-co (2016-04-27)
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  • Tarrier Foods Corp. - Food and Drink International
    sugar into packs for Duncan Hines crushed and combined three different manufacturers candy brands into one mix and created salad toppings specific to restaurant customer requests Tarrier Foods other notable co manufacturing partners include Hershey Nestle and Rhino Foods Tarrier s ability to customize its work has earned it a customer list that includes several of the largest restaurant chains in the country as well as manufacturers for whom it co packs products We have grown through word of mouth Ziegler says The restaurant customers we have talk to others and we then can become problem solvers for new accounts or manufacturers refer us to others who want us to co pack for them Customer referrals are so common for the company that it went more than 15 years before hiring a national sales manager Dave Belleau who assumed that role in 2013 concentrates much of his efforts on expanding existing business I jumped at the opportunity to work at Tarrier Foods the products packaging flexibility and company culture here really makes my job fun Belleau says When a prospective customer asks if we can source a product we currently do not stock or if we can package the product in a package size we currently don t produce I rarely have to say no If the volume is there we ll find a way to do it and that creates many opportunities for us Efficient Operations Tarrier Foods greatly enhanced its manufacturing and packing capabilities when it moved its operations from an 86 000 square foot facility into a 152 000 square foot former distribution center it renovated in 2012 The facility houses two main production rooms one for production of peanut related products and one for other non peanut products Tarrier operates 50 vertical form fill and seal

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/profiles1/1489-tarrier-foods-corp (2016-04-27)
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  • Southern Eagle Distributing - Food and Drink International
    with 690 SKU s 150 employees and 73 percent market share After Peter Busch s retirement in 2012 Philip Busch assumed the role of president and has achieved great success in a short amount of time Southern Eagle advanced from Anheuser Busch distributors silver tier to gold status and achieved its Ambassador of Excellence AOE award in 2013 Changing Tastes The modern beer marketplace is shifting quickly and craft beer brands and breweries are surging Although Southern Eagle remains loyal to Anheuser Busch which still accounts for 88 percent of its business Southern Eagle is focusing more attention on craft brands developing and reinforcing relationships with local breweries and taking this movement seriously Busch explains I don t think anyone can take the craft brewing movement as a joke he says Southern Eagle has seen double digit growth within this category People are now enjoying more varieties as well as the local breweries who brew them An Important Role Some might underestimate the importance of beer distributors thinking of them solely as middlemen but Busch highlights the important role that companies such as his play Southern Eagle has taken pride in giving back to the community that has facilitated in growing its business to what it is today Since 1984 SED has donated to numerous organizations within the community These donations have helped more than 75 different causes including military city restoration child abuse food for the hungry medical care for the sick or injured community projects animal rehabilitation and many more Distributors must also stay on top of federal state and local regulations as protecting the community is a high priority for Southern Eagle It works with local law enforcement to run PSA s during peak consumption times of their alcoholic beverage portfolio and provide programs like Street Smart

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/profiles1/1487-southern-eagle-distributing (2016-04-27)
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  • Profiles - Food and Drink International
    long term partnerships with customers and farmers Read more Article by Russ Gager Profiles 11 May 2014 Port Brewing and Lost Abbey In the burgeoning craft beer segment it is better to create trends than follow them says Tomme Arthur director of brewery operations and co founder of Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey We ve done a really good job of what we call being ahead of the curve Arthur declares We never look at the trend We re always evolving One of the goals of the company for us is to not be concerned about what others are doing but concentrate on what we are doing If we focus our energy on what we can do we should be OK My point is that we don t tend to react to trends or look to be a part of them Port Brewing and Lost Abbey does not reason backwards by trying to find out what style of beer people want to drink and then brewing a product that matches consumers tastes Rather the brewery has proceeded confidently to brew what it likes and assume that drinkers will follow its lead That is pretty much proving to be the case with the company s two brands of beer Port Brewing creates an aggressive California style reminiscent of imperial beers such as imperial red or India pale ales whereas Lost Abbey updates the traditions of monastic brewing Read more Article by Jamie Morgan Profiles 11 May 2014 Panola Pepper Co Panola Pepper Co wasn t founded on lofty ideas of creating a Louisiana style hot sauce empire but if that is what comes of the family owned and operated company it will surely take it To Panola Pepper new business is an opportunity to employ another one of Lake Providence La s residents Grady Bubber Brown a farmer at heart was torn at the end of each year s harvest knowing he would have to send his employees home for the winter With the motivation to fulfill his employees desire for year round employment in 1983 Bubber cooked large batches of his mother s time honored secret recipe for Panola Gourmet Pepper Sauce At his own expense he paid his farm workers to make and store the first batch It was a quick hit and turned into a year round and growing operation Read more Article by Jim Harris Profiles 11 May 2014 Merisant Merisant s focus on efficiency and product innovation is allowing it to make the world a sweeter place Expansion into international markets and different product types is a high priority for the company which markets and manufactures the Equal Pure Via stevia and Canderel tabletop sweetener brands We have a vision to double our size says Paul Block CEO and president of the Chicago based company In particular we re very excited about future growth in Africa and Asia two continents where we see significant growth opportunities for food and beverage products in general The company

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/profiles1?start=8 (2016-04-27)
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  • Profiles - Food and Drink International
    chain stores school stores espresso stands and golf courses Read more Article by Jim Harris Profiles 11 May 2014 HW Holdings Le Peep Restaurants The first Le Peep restaurant opened in Aspen Colo in 1963 with what was then a unique concept operating from 6 30 a m to 2 p m and specializing in breakfast and brunch offerings In the more than 50 years since Le Peep has expanded beyond its origins and seen growing competition within its niche When we got started there were just a few restaurants doing this now it seems like there s hundreds says Kevin Wessel CEO and president of HW Holdings the Littleton Colo headquartered company that licenses the Le Peep brand Our competition in the breakfast and lunch category is getting stiffer so it s important that we do it faster fresher better and at a competitive price point One of Le Peep s main advantages in the marketplace is its ownership structure Each of the restaurant s 54 locations in 13 states is locally owned and operated by proprietors who license the name recipes and concept as opposed to a franchise structure Read more Article by Janice Hoppe Profiles 11 May 2014 Hickory Harvest Foods Hickory Harvest Foods works hard to increase awareness of its brands to retailers and distributors by increasing production capacity and launching new products from its processing plant The Akron Ohio based company was incorporated in 1972 by Joseph and Pauline Swiatkowski and their son George It began as a small distributor of cheeses and smoked sausages but as the business grew the company changed focus and began roasting nuts in the mid 1980s In 2003 George Swiatkowski died suddenly and left the business to his wife Darlene and their sons Joe and Mike Swiatkowski As CEO of Hickory Harvest I am proud of the company my sons have helped me grow one that truly blossomed after they stepped into their leadership roles in 2003 CEO Darlene Swiatkowski says Today Hickory Harvest offers a selection of more than 400 different products sold under the Hickory Harvest Foods I M Good Snacks private labels and in bulk Its specialty is raw roasted and flavored nuts dried fruits and vegetables confections candy licorice trail mixes and granola Read more article by Jennifer Hopfinger Profiles 11 May 2014 Hero Certified Burgers A burger may seem as American as baseball and apple pie but one Canadian burger chain plans to carefully crack the U S market with its particular brand that emphasizes sustainability Toronto based Hero Certified Burgers has 57 locations in Ontario with plans to open about a dozen more stores in the greater Toronto area in 2014 Also this year the chain will expand just over the border in upstate New York with two of its first U S locations There s going to be a big effort on our part to understand how our concept will translate in the U S CEO John Lettieri says Even though we

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/profiles1?start=16 (2016-04-27)
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