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 50 of 131

from Italy is on menus at an upscale res- taurant chain across the country." Grains are among the top-selling spe- cialty categories. "Everyone knows quinoa but there are others like black barley, farro, and millet," Simas says. The company offers most in a retail 1-pound pack and 10-pound packs for foodservice. Beans, too, are in demand; rarer varieties on offer include rice, black garbanzo, and rattlesnake beans. Sid Wainer & Son has brought in a full line of gluten-free foods in response to cus- tomer demand. "We listen to what people want. Or—put it this way—we try to never say no," says Furtado. The company has built a reputation as the source for uncommon products. Among more esoteric specialty food items are merlot and chardonnay wine vinegars from France; whiskey-smoked sugar; vinegar powders; an arugula pesto from Italy—"something most people have never seen," Simas notes—part of a new line of five f lavors shown at the Winter Fancy Food Show; quinoa gra- nola with chocolate and huckleberry; and Espelette peppers. "Espelette is taking off," Simas says. "Before, it was anything that said heirloom or pomegranate. Espelette is the key word now." Offerings are always being updated. Newer items brought onboard include French tart shells in demand by chefs and a line of 12 f lavored mustards from Minnesota, including best-selling tangerine. "We're try- ing to do more domestically. We bring in local pasta sauces, Vermont maple syrup, and we're working with a new preserve line from Oregon," says Simas. "If we can find the right f lavor profile here, [we] want to keep it local. It supports farmers and it's what our custom- ers are asking [for]. ... We just need to be sure the quality is there." Sid Wainer & Son is currently con- structing an additional 42,000-square-foot warehouse eight miles away from its New Bedford location to help increase fulfill- ment, especially on growing retail orders. The company currently sells products on Amazon and does the cheese program for Costco and BJ's nationally. The Gourmet Outlet: A Shopping Destination Sid Wainer & Son's New Bedford plant is also home to The Gourmet Outlet, a specialty food store opened to showcase the company's offerings. In the late 1980s, a friend of Henry Wainer's suggested opening the warehouse on Saturday to let people shop. "I thought, we can't stop load- ing trucks for someone to buy a bunch of cilantro. We should dedicate a space where people can shop for what they're cook- ing," Wainer says. The Gourmet Outlet has since become a destination for locals, personal chefs, and vacationers traveling seasonally to Boston or Cape Cod. The store is packed with cheese, pan- try items, condiments, spices, and produce but no prepared foods. "We want people to cook, so we offer recipe cards and fresh foods and educate customers [on] what to do with the food," Simas explains. Daily, staff chefs create an array of samples made from all of the products. "I wouldn't buy something if I didn't love the way it looked and tasted," says Wainer. "And I don't expect our customers to." What's Next: Anniversary Plans To celebrate its centennial, Sid Wainer & Son is looking to give back to the commu- nity. Henry Wainer is launching a program to donate to New England food banks pro- duce that wouldn't otherwise be sold due to minor bruises or irregularities: The target for 2014 has been set at 450,000 pounds. Additionally, tastings and events are being planned throughout the local area. "We want to celebrate with the people who helped us be who we are," says Henry Wainer. "Who else would we want to cel- ebrate with? It's our family." factory tour Denise Purcell is editor of Specialty Food Magazine. "We're ofering consumers what we've ofered chefs for 100 years." @ VIEW MORE PHOTOS at specialty food.com/ onlinehighlights 48 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com FactoryTour_Spring2014.indd 48 3/18/14 2:41 PM

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