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Continued on Page 14 Continued on Page 22 An interview with Jan Mariën, Vice President, Crêapan USA Corp. Private 2016: Tell our readers about Crêapan. JM: Crêapan was founded in 1991, and our headquarters are located in Sliedrecht, Netherlands. We are the largest European manufacturer of crêpes and pancakes. We have plants in the Netherlands and Belgium, with a sales office in Chicago, Illinois. Our core philosophy is predicated on making crêpes and pancakes just like 'mom used to make.' We spare nothing in order to yield gourmet-quality products at affordable prices for the value-seeking consumer. Our customer portfolio spans out to more than 30 countries worldwide. We've carefully se- lected strategic partnerships to create a reli- able distribution network to provide in-time deliveries. Private 2016: What is your goal for the show? Unveiling the First Farmer-Owned Private Label Agave Syrup An interview with Dave Goulet, Director of Sales, The Tierra Group. Private 2016: Tell our readers about your com- pany. DG: The Tierra Group is based out of Min- neapolis, Minnesota and is the largest North American importer of agave-based products. 'Tierra' means earth. Taking care of it means being able to provide the highest quality, or- ganic blue agave syrup direct from our organ- ically grown fields to your store shelves. Our factory located in Capilla de Guadalupe Mex- ico is the only large-scale factory producing organic agave syrup in the world that is com- pletely vertically integrated. The factory's shareholders are third generation agave grow- ers who oversee the planting, harvesting, pro- duction and bottling of all of our agave products, which builds brand transparency and a commitment to pure quality. Our or- ganic agave products are produced using 100 Crêapan Brings European Gourmet Crêpes to Value-Conscious Consumers Continued on Page 22 Continued on Page 14 Smitty Bee: A Sweet Success Story Columbia Fruit: Vertically Integrated, Family-Owned Jerry Peterson al- ways dreamed of being able to farm. There happened to be a 90-acre farm for sale in the Woodland Bottoms along the Columbia River. It was February of 1959, and Peterson was 19. In the following years, he was blessed with five children. In 1968, the family was honored to be Dairy Family of the Year. The 1980s were a particularly difficult pe- riod for dairy farmers, as oversupply caused low prices, and the government held several buyouts of dairy farms to prop up the strug- gling dairy industry. In 1987, out of the dairy business, with acres of rich, fertile soil from years of dairy cattle, the family de- cided to plant raspberries. They harvested the first crop in 1988. In 1993, they built a small processing plant that used a technique called tray freez- ing to process the 200 acres of raspberries they now had planted. While effective in producing individually frozen berries, the process didn't allow the berries to be Continued on Page 22 Middlebridge Marketing, Inc. Adds Value for Suppliers Broker Middlebridge Marketing, Inc. works with store brand suppliers across the focal areas of beauty, over-the- counter healthcare and general merchandise. "The landscape has changed from favor- ing store brands that are equivalent to na- tional brands to those that are better than national brands and a better value," said Patrick McDonough, Middlebridge Vice President of Business Development. "Qual- ity, along with hard-hitting claims, is now one of the driving forces to shelf." Store brands are a fundamental element of the front store and definitely play a strate- gic role. Retailers have made a strong state- ment in recent years with the support they have shown for their own brands, propri- etary brands and exclusive brands. "Not only are these brands margin driv- ers, but they help to drive differentiation for the retailer to set them apart from competi- tion," said Sarah Faustino, Middlebridge Marketing's Vice President of Sales. That For more than 95 years, Smitty Bee has been passionate about producing and packaging high quality honey. That passion has helped create one of the most respected honey packaging businesses in the industry. Louis Henkelman, who always had a love for honey, started producing honey from a single colony hobbyist kit from Sears and Roebuck. In those days, honey could only be obtained by raising your own bees. At this time, honey was a novelty item, not mass marketed like it is today. It wasn't until the 1940s, when sugar was rationed to support the war effort, that honey was turned to as an alternative sweetener. The popular- ity of honey grew, and the industry was born. Throughout the next 30 years, Louis grew his family oriented business into one of the most respected honey producers in south- west Iowa. Lavern Schmitz worked for his father-in- law Louis after returning from the Korean Giraffe Foods Successful Sauces Start with Getting to Know Their Targets For close to 20 years, Giraffe Foods has been working with multi-unit restaurant and grocery operations, creating and pack- ing signature sauces, dips and salad dress- ings, and earning its reputation as an industry leader in private label. Giraffe cred- its its success to knowing everything it can about its target customers, from their taste preferences to their eating behaviors and their attitudes towards the whole dining ex- perience. "Staying ahead of the curve is key to a successful product launch," notes Ari Pow- ell, Chief Executive Officer and Owner. "A decade ago, we were making sauces for consumers seeking full, bold flavor, an in- dulgent eating experience, with wing sauces and dressings that were highly ap- pealing to the senses. Now the majority of the projects under development are fo- cused on the marketing or nutrient claims that will be made on the outer package to please buyers seeking specifics, like Continued on Page 14 Continued on Page 22 Benzel's Bretzel Bakery: Providing Quality Pretzels for More Than a Century An interview with Shaun Benzel, Vice President, Sales, Benzel's Bretzel Bakery, Inc., Altoona, Penn- sylvania. Private 2016: Tell our readers about Ben- zel's Bretzel Bakery. SB: We have been in the pretzel business for a very long time! The company was founded in 1911 by my great grandfather. As a pret- zel bakery, we are continuously adapting to provide consumers and retailers with better snack alternatives and bring value to the consumer and the retailer alike. The spe- cialty market continues to grow, and what we are seeing is that pretzels are stepping out of their traditional role. There is a strong potential for utilizing pretzels in the devel- opment of new products, such as candy bars, nutrition bars, snack bars, etc. Benzel's sets itself apart from other com- panies by overcoming technical limitations. We know that it is the processing techniques Cheeses, Creams and Yogurts from Nuestro Queso An interview with Arturo Nava, Marketing Director, Nuestro Queso, LLC. Private 2016: What is Nuestro Queso all about? AN: Nuestro Queso, which means 'Our Cheese,' is an award-winning premium Illi- nois-based company founded in 2009. We manufacture the highest quality and freshest Mexican, Caribbean and Central American style cheeses, creams and drinkable yogurts, all crafted with care and a personal sense of own- ership using milk free of rBST hormones. We also co-pack and develop private label brands for well-known retailers and brands. Nuestro Queso branded products are currently available at retail locations in Chicago, the Midwest, New York/New Jersey area and the South. Private 2016: What makes Nuestro Queso unique? AN: We are known as the company with Continued on Page 6 G OURMET N EWS T H E B U S I N E S S N E W S P A P E R F O R T H E G O U R M E T I N D U S T R Y ® P RIVATE 2016 A Special Supplement of Gourmet News

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