Food and Drink - Spring 2011 - (Page 85)

f&f foods >p PRODUCERS Refresh & Expand F&F Foods is confident of its potential with revitalized brands. By Staci Davidson company profile F&F Foods Headquarters: Chicago Employees 225 (at peak) Byron LaMont, president and CEO: “We must produce different and unique flavors to compete with brands like Halls and Ricola – otherwise we’re just a me-too brand.” >> F&F Foods produces cough drops, throat drops, hard candy and nutritional supplements. T he work force of F&F Foods is divided fairly evenly by nationality, according to President and CEO Byron LaMont. Approximately one third of the company’s employees are Hispanic, one third are Polish and the other third are of Irish descent. As a result, the signage in the company’s Chicago facility is in three languages – Spanish, Polish and English. LaMont notes that the employees may have different backgrounds and their primary language may vary, but one thing remains constant – their ongoing focus on maintaining F&F Foods’ high-quality standards. “This is a friendly work environment and we have many long-term employees, who really are the backbone of the company,” he says. “Not only do they understand the quality necessary for our brands, as well as our customers’ exact specifications, but they also know how to configure our machines to meet customers’ needs.” F&F Foods has two sides to its business. One side involves the manufacturing and marketing of some of the oldest and most iconic brands of hard candy, cough drops and nutritional supplements in the world – Smith Brothers, Foxes, Daily-C and Sen-Sen. On the other side, the company is one of the premier contract and private-label candy manufacturers in the United States, providing one-stop, end-to-end services for a variety of confections, candies, mints, gums and nutritional supplements. In February 2010, F&F Foods’ assets were purchased by GemCap, a private equity fund in Santa Monica, Calif. According to the company, GemCap is an equity investor in low- and middlemarket sized companies, but it also provides asset-based loans – ranging from $1 million to $10 million – as a senior-secured lender. “GemCap has been great for our company,” LaMont explains. “They’ve already upgraded our plant and helped remodel our offices, making everything more modern.” Brand Revitalization When GemCap bought F&F Foods last year, it was gaining a seasoned business that produces some of the world’s oldest and most well-known brands of cough and throat drops. With the brands’ longestablished history of quality, GemCap is helping F&F Foods reposition its brands and gain more market share. “We are refreshing our brands and expanding our presence,” LaMont notes. The company’s flagship brand is Smith Brothers, which was founded in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., in 1847 by William > food and drink • spring 201 • 1 85

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food and Drink - Spring 2011

Food and Drink - Spring 2011
Tableside Chat
Table of Contents
News a la Carte
Current Events
FAD Exclusive
A Ripening Field
History in the Making
New Wine Paradigm
Don Sebastiani & Sons/ The Other Guys
St. Julian Winery
Ste. Genevieve Winery
Herzog Wine Cellars
Meier’s Wine Cellar
Oak Ridge Winery
Producers: Keeping Trade Secrets
MaMa Rosa’s Pizza
Gel Spice Co. LLC
Vegetable Juices Inc.
Royal Caribbean Bakery/Caribbean Food Delights
Red Stripe Beer
Robertet Flavors
Annabelle Candy
Andrea Foods
Anchor Brewing
F&F Foods
Santa Sweets Inc.
Hillside Candy
Ricos Products
Sethness Greenleaf Inc.
Wunder-Bar: Automatic Bar Controls
Antigua Distillery
AMES International
Amato’s Bakery
Charlie’s Pride Meats
Citromax Group of Companies
Diamond Bakery
Grindmaster- Cecilware Corp.
Heartland Mill
Kirschenman Enterprises
Rakhra Mushroom Farm
FAME Food Management
Schneider Packaging Equipment Co. Inc.
Sea Harvest Corporation (Pty) Ltd.
Sparrer Sausage Co. Inc.
Jamaican Teas Ltd.
Westminster Cracker Co.
Distributors: Don’t Risk It
The Fricks Company
U.S. Foodservice – Milwaukee Division
Arizona Select Distribution
Fairway Packing Co.
Ingredient Innovations
J.J. Taylor Distributing Co. of Minnesota Inc.
Mastronardi Produce
Milne Fruit Products Inc.
Pellerito Foods
Albion Fisheries Ltd.
RPE Inc.
Retailers: Savoring the Moment
Roadtown Wholesale Trading Ltd.
Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt
Quick Chek
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
Sendik’s Fine Foods Inc.
Zaro’s Bakery
Balboa Brands
Restaurants: Toss Around Ideas
Sizzler USA
Dick’s Last Resort
Granite City Food & Brewery Ltd.
Liberty Entertainment Group
Roly Poly Franchise Systems
Santa Fe Cattle Co.
Winger’s USA Inc.
Bensi Restaurant Group Inc.
Leo’s Coney Island
Three Things

Food and Drink - Spring 2011