Specialty Food Magazine


Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Page 45 of 131

Specialty Food Magazine recently toured the vast facilities to see firsthand what goes into servicing, as the owners put it, "basi- cally anyone who eats." Customers: Expanding a Foodservice Stronghold to Retail Foodservice sales account for the bulk of the business, at 80 percent, says Allie Wainer, director of customer relations and fourth- generation family member to join the busi- ness. The company supplies upwards of 24,000 restaurants, hotels, cruise ships, and catering facilities nationwide, in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, and Bermuda— up dramatically from about 2,000 about 15 years ago. "One of the reasons for our growth is that chefs move around," says Victor Simas, vice president. "We may not have planned to [supply restaurants] in Washington, D.C., for example, but a chef from Boston may have moved there and knows us." The wholesaler has also supplied food for major sporting events, conventions, and other occasions. The company maintains a f leet of 200 delivery trucks covering the Maine- Canadian border to Florida, and relies on ground and air shipments for the rest of the country and world. To expedite shipments, Sid Wainer & Son operates an on-site TSA- certified area where staff can pack and ship orders to send directly to Boston's Logan International Airport. Though smaller than foodservice, retail sales are a fast-growing sector, says Simas. "More retailers want specialty food prod- ucts and are looking to upgrade to high-end produce," he explains. "We think there is a niche there that we can fill." "Products like our Jansal Valley pro- duce and cheeses are recognized by chefs and now are getting national recognition from retailers," says Henry Wainer. "We're offering consumers what we've offered chefs for 100 years." Sales and Purchasing: Chefs Selling to Chefs An expert team services Sid Wainer & Son's customers. The company requires its entire on-site sales staff of 52 to have culi- nary backgrounds; several are graduates of Johnson & Wales University College of Culinary Arts and many have worked in professional kitchens. Orders are processed seven days per week to ensure customers receive the fresh- est product; in fact, the phones operate on a backup satellite system akin to what the government uses. "We put it in a while back, after realizing that we were vulnerable if something happens to our phones," says Tom Furtado, vice president. New products arrive for sampling daily and staff is encouraged to participate in tastings. "We did a charcuterie tasting recently with our inside sales team. Who better [to judge] than a room full of chefs," says Allie Wainer. "A key factor for us is that our sales team thinks a product is the best [on offer]. If they don't believe in it, they can't sell it," explains Simas. "When they're excited about something, everyone is on the phone trying to get to their chefs to tell them something new is in." Produce buying is handled by a staff of a dozen, while an additional five handle specialty food purchasing. Henry Wainer handles the bulk of specialty sourcing, Summer Fancy Food Show Booth 4313 800.372.6808 | Seattle, WA franschocolates.com Our Signature Favorite Available in 3pc & 7pc Sid Wainer & Son supplies 24,000 restaurants, hotels, cruise ships, and catering facilities. Though smaller than its foodservice business, retail sales are a fast-growing sector. SPRING 2014 43 FactoryTour_Spring2014.indd 43 3/18/14 2:38 PM

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