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  • Aloha Seafood - Food and Drink International
    countries as they often violate fishing quotas or sustainability practices he says Learning the Industry Willing developed his knowledge of the market during a 20 year career as CEO of another seafood wholesale and distribution company He had a desire to run his own company but took a year off first to develop a business plan High quality abundant product and strong customer relationships are the guiding principles of that plan he says Aloha Seafood named in recognition of Willing s Hawaiian heritage was founded in 2008 The company is located in San Francisco s historic waterfront district known as Pier 45 Willing learned a lot about the market during two decades running another seafood wholesale distributor He admits however that overseeing his own company has its unique challenges There s a little more stress and responsibility involved he says If this business fails it s all on me There s a lot more risk than being the CEO of another company Willing started Aloha Seafood with Mitch Gronner whom he had worked with at his previous employer Willing had no doubt that Gronner would be the ideal partner Mitch was a strong salesman for the other company that we were at he recalls Willing was confident that the relationships he had cultivated over the years with area chefs coupled with Gronner s sales proficiency would make Aloha Seafood a success The timing was right Willing says I had built long term relationships with the vendors Aloha Seafood quickly found its niche supplying fine dining white tablecloth restaurants Willing says Today Aloha has 12 trucks that serve routes six days a week delivering an array of seafood to upscale restaurants in San Francisco the Peninsula Napa Sonoma the East Bay the Central Valley and other communities throughout northern California Willing

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/distributors/1884-a-great-catch (2016-04-27)
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  • Featured Content - Food and Drink International
    by Russ Gager Special Focus 13 July 2015 L Dicks For years nutritionists and parents alike have championed the nutritional benefits of orange juice Many consider it a staple of a healthy breakfast Yet it seems as if the challenges of producing it have never been greater There s so much competition for beverages L Dicks President Richard Rick Dicks points out You go to the grocery store and the No 1 selling beverage is Coke and No 2 is Pepsi You can t tell me they re more healthy for you than orange juice I think orange juice is one of the most healthy fruit drinks He attributes the struggle to keep orange juice a popular beverage to the massive marketing budgets of huge corporations producing competitive drinks and the challenges of labor in the citrus market Read more Article by Alan Dorich Special Focus 13 July 2015 Killer Shrimp LLC For nearly 30 years Killer Shrimp LLC has kept customers coming back with its mix of unique dishes and a special environment CEO Kevin Michaels says It s really the Killer Shrimp the vibe and the décor he says It s something you can only get from us Based in Marina del Rey Calif Killer Shrimp has become known for its namesake dish which is prepared with the best shrimp you can get Mexican whites and blues he states They re poppy fresh and they have that incredible briny shrimp flavor Killer Shrimp originated from the shrimp recipe of Michaels father Lee a musician We were surfers growing up in the 80 s and everything was Killer to us so we would say Dad can you make us that killer shrimp the younger Michaels recalls My dad would get all the fresh shrimp and the ingredients we needed It became our family dish Read more Article by Alan Dorich Special Focus 13 July 2015 Consolidated Distribution Corporation LLC A focus on customizing supply chain solutions for its quick service restaurant and foodservice customers is a hallmark of Consolidated Distribution Corporation LLC CDC which marks its 25th anniversary this year Says CDC Chairman and CEO J Mitchell Rader Our employees have an ingrained culture of customer service If we are doing our job the customer feels as though we are a seamless part of their organization Based in Lemont Ill CDC serves the quick serve fast casual and casual dining restaurant markets with supply chain redistribution warehousing and storage promotion premiums fulfillment logistics and transportation services Read more Article by FDI Staff Writer Special Focus 13 July 2015 Choice Canning Co Inc Celebrating 65 years of bringing restaurant quality cuisine from across the world to tables throughout the United States Choice Canning Co Inc s ready to eat wing Tastee Choice continues to hold a significant marketshare of the shrimp industry Our longstanding commitment to excellence has built a sound legacy of trust and customer satisfaction the company says Choice Canning is a division of Choice Trading Corp the

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/featured-content?start=100 (2016-04-27)
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  • Ben's Soft Pretzels - Food and Drink International
    that he himself fell in love with Ben s pretzel After we started wholesaling and doing things with Ben and his bakery I went to Scott and said We have to build a business around this hot fresh pretzel Today Ben s menu is centered around its Jumbo Soft Pretzel The Jumbo Soft Pretzel weighs approximately a half pound and is our No 1 seller Krider says The company also features Buggy Bites an ideal fit for Ben s locations in big box stores such as Walmart and Meijer It is the perfect product for families because it fits in the cup holder in shopping carts he explains Looking for Expertise Ben s has recently re evaluated its process for identifying and recruiting franchisees Jones says We re looking for multi unit franchisees to capitalize on our real estate enriched markets he explained This process also led to the hire of Don Drabik as Ben s vice president of operations which will allow Jones and Krider to help the business stay innovative and focus on growth It s a chance for us to stretch a little bit Jones says Ben s recently formed a partnership with Gordon Food Service They are a very large international company that distributes our proprietary products Krider says The partnership helped to broaden our ability to service all of our franchise partners and opens us up to several new markets he continues This will support our efforts in growing our available real estate opportunities He also is proud of the company s relationship with Meijer and Walmart It represents a very unique and exciting opportunity for us to present our brand in a captured high traffic environment he states The company also has partnered with colleges including the University of Wisconsin and the University of

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/restaurants/1883-building-up-ben-s (2016-04-27)
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  • The Original Cakerie - Food and Drink International
    it is 100 percent the work of our product development and innovation department who worked diligently with different blends of gluten free flours to make the perfect match to our sponge cake in quality taste and appearance Smith says The company developed the cakes in response to market demand We definitely saw the need in the market for a quality gluten free product says Ben Carpenter the Original Cakerie s foodservice marketing manager for North America Much of the time with gluten free products be it bread or desserts there is textural mouthfeel that is sandy or just generally subpar We saw the need for something that could match the quality of conventional product and serve the needs for people with Celiac or those cutting gluten out of their diet High Praise The high quality of the Dreamin cakes has earned the Original Cakerie the notice of consumers and industry peers The company was awarded the National Restaurant Association NRA s 2015 Food and Beverage FABI award The awards recognize breakthrough achievement and innovation in taste marketability creativity and foodservice market profitability potential and are judged by a panel of industry leaders the NRA says In addition to the award the cakes also earned the notice of a national restaurant chain during the NRA s annual trade show in Chicago last year The cakes which are also available at retail locations throughout North America will also be available in the restaurant s locations early this year The Original Cakerie last year also won Prepared Foods Spirit of Innovation award for the cakes The Finest Quality The Dreamin cakes are part of the company s Inspired by Happiness line of gluten free products which also includes three layer cakes The line is available at major retailers throughout the United States and

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/producers/1882-gluten-free-goodness (2016-04-27)
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  • Staying Energized - Food and Drink International
    to a high quality market That s the secondary benefit to our product we wanted a product that had all that but we were trying to get customers a full cup of coffee and energy on the go To continue giving people what they want New Grounds Food surveyed its customers to see what was in demand before launching its two new flavors Caramel Macchiato and Coconut Mocha were the two most requested People really loved them and Caramel Macchiato doesn t contain any nuts which helps get more people enjoy it and there is a new craze with coconut Kothari says Social Impact New Grounds Food sources fair trade coffee from The Chain Collaborative a nonprofit that facilitates social environmental economic and quality focused initiatives in coffee dependent communities The partnership allows New Grounds Food to support members of the nonprofit s networking such as Planting Hope a Vermont based affiliate that offers programs to support migrant coffee pickers and their families in Nicaragua Every CoffeeBar helps someone else Fayad says We give you the energy you need and you help someone around the world For example New Grounds Food gives back to the community it sources its coffee from in Nicaragua The company helps more children in Coyol Nicaragua continue their education during peak coffee burning season by funding a mobile library There is a two hour walk to get to the closest school and during peak coffee burning parents couldn t bring their kids to school Fayad explains Kids weren t getting an education and were forced to work in the fields We were able to help fund a mobile library down there that helps about 30 kids stay in school for an entire year Two and a half bars purchased on our website keeps one Nicaraguan child in school New Grounds Food is also helping fund three revolving loans for entrepreneurs in Guatemala The Chain Collaborative developed a micro finance program in partnership with ADIBOC XEPECUL to provide business and administrative training to coffee farming communities in Guatemala as well as provide loan options to women entrepreneurs Eighteen women entrepreneurs in Boca Costa Guatemala are part of the group that can take out loans to improve their own businesses Kothari says They borrow the money for one to three months and another woman is able to get a loan after the first one repays it in full Continuing to Explore New Grounds Food s CoffeeBar can be found in about 200 retailers nationwide and the company continues to pursue opportunities with larger retailers Fayad and Kothari still attend college and have one more year left but continue to develop new products and are focused on building the company We are building the company going along with the adventure and seeing where it takes us Fayad says There are more product lines and extensions we are eager to explore The pair plans to add more CoffeeBar flavors and ones with added protein Fayad and Kothari are running

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/editors-blog/1881-staying-energized (2016-04-27)
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  • Cherry Capital Foods - Food and Drink International
    We maintain the farm or processor s identity all the way through Smith says When you get a product from Cherry Capital Foods you know the name of the farm farmer or facility that produces the product That along with our dedication to food safety is what really makes us unique The company uses a barcoding system that allows it to store information on and track every product that enters the warehouse The information from the barcode includes all the traditional information like the product name for example but it also includes more details such as the name of the farm it came from That information appears on each invoice Collaborative Partnerships Cherry Capital Foods shares a space with the Grand Traverse Regional Foodshed Alliance creating an innovative food hub for entrepreneurs making value added products Cherry Capital Foods operates in 48 000 square feet and the remaining 12 000 square feet of the building is leased The hub allows these start up or stage two companies to put their money not into infrastructure or trucks but into production equipment and people Smith explains The whole concept of the food hub is really taking hold around the country We are seeing them develop similar unique models everywhere in the United States Although Cherry Capital Foods makes the space available to these start ups Smith explains they are not obligated to choose the company as their distributor We make the space available and they don t have to choose us as their distributor or store their product with us but we can make it pretty convenient he adds Why wouldn t you use someone who is right next door with a huge cooler instead of buying your own A food hub is a way to be collaborative while maintaining independence and choose to have long term relationships that are transparent and collaborative rather than competitive and secretive The Redheads producers of organic hummus and dressing sauces based in Lake Leelanau Mich plans to move into one of the shared spaces Cherry Capital Foods leases to the Grand Traverse Foodshed Alliance for value added production By leasing the space Smith expects an even deeper connection between the two companies as The Redheads will have access to its loading docks freezer and cooler capacity as well as an even shorter value chain What began as a simple exercise of discussion whether there was a fit for us to provide distribution for The Redheads has turned into a much deeper and collaborative partnership Smith says The shared values and understanding of appropriate markets have allowed us to provide longer shelf life and fresher product with shorter delivery times The food hub puts Cherry Capital Foods on the frontlines of entrepreneurs coming up with the latest products and creates a community around food We find out who has the great new chocolate or sriracha and we might be able to find out where their supplier is or what farm they are getting their pepper from

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/distributors/1880-fruitful-networking (2016-04-27)
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  • Huddle House - Food and Drink International
    its second half century Huddle House continues to look for ways it can improve its service and open up new opportunities for expansion across the country Abt says the company is dedicated to modernizing its restaurants and menu but not at the expense of the friendly atmosphere that has been the Huddle House hallmark Old Fashioned Menu The menu at Huddle House is centered on good old fashioned comfort food with a Southern slant Abt says Huddle House is a firm believer in breakfast being the most important meal of the day with waffles french toast and omelets taking center stage The breakfast menu also includes breakfast platters as well as unique offerings like stuffed hash browns which feature breakfast food favorites layered between crispy hash browns Lunch and dinner options also stay close to the tried and true comfort food model featuring the famous HuddleBurger as well as Southern fried chicken tenders and country fried steak Abt says Huddle House recently hired a new corporate chef to introduce more craveable menu items and give guests more variety I think we ve done a really good job of extending our menu a bit and improving some of the existing products on the menu he says Just as important as the menu at Huddle House is the warm and friendly environment created at each restaurant Abt says this is the direct result of how involved and dedicated each of Huddle House s owner operators is Because they are local he says it s easy for them to create deep bonds with their regular customers and to be heavily involved with community groups and events One of John Sparks ideals for Huddle House was to make each restaurant a central gathering point for the community and Abt says its engaged owner operators make that possible Upgraded Service Although being in business for more than 50 years speaks to the timelessness of Huddle House s core concept there comes a point at which longevity can work against a restaurant chain unless it is proactive One of the primary challenges that we ve addressed over the last three years has been our older facilities Abt says With many of the chain s restaurants housed in older buildings Abt says Huddle House understood that it needed to keep them updated or else they would eventually have a negative impact on guests perception of the brand That s why Huddle House introduced an incentive program to encourage its franchise partners to remodel their locations and bring them in line with the company s modern concept Abt says franchise partners receive a 20 000 cash incentive once their restaurants are remodeled along with another 5 000 earmarked for local marketing efforts Abt says the remodeling initiative already has been a big success with remodeled locations reporting same store sales increases of approximately 14 percent Huddle House will end the fiscal year with nearly 40 percent of its locations having been remodeled and by the end of the

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/restaurants/1879-comfort-food (2016-04-27)
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  • Organic Bargain-Hunting - Food and Drink International
    Foods was downgraded to underperform by BMO Capital Markets because of consumers perceptions that the market has not improved its pricing Analysts said they continue to view Whole Foods as an innovation leader in food retail but see risk in its stock valuation because it s in the early stages of a multiyear transition MarketWatch reports Shopping for Bargains So for those who can t or won t blow their paychecks paying for organic and all natural foods at Whole Foods ALDI is emerging in the space The Batavia Ill based grocer is expanding its natural foods selection and putting a greater emphasis on better for you options throughout the store It s not just about the perimeter anymore ALDI will now offer shoppers more organic and healthy selections at checkout and throughout the store at a lower price The move can be seen as a threat to Whole Food s 365 By Whole Foods Market the lower cost chain that will launch this year in an effort to better compete with the crowded market With a focus on better eating ALDI is offering exclusive brand food products free of certified synthetic colors partially hydrogenated oils and added MSG Some of the other changes you can expect to see at ALDI stores include Fresh and organic meat and produce with the Never Any brand Expanding the SimplyNature line of products that are free of more than 125 artificial ingredients Highlighting nutritional facts on the front of its exclusive brand food packages And partnering with registered dietitians through its advisory council to provide tips recipes and meal planning ideas This time of year I m especially focused on looking for healthy options at the grocery store that my whole family can feel good about said Elizabeth Ward registered dietitian author and

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/editors-blog/1878-organic-bargain-hunting (2016-04-27)
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