Food & Drink International - Winter 2017, Volume 2 - 41
Giraffe Foods Inc.
with prompt and courteous service, pillars of the successful business they still
With proof of concept and a keen interest in expansion, the Powell family
ventured into manufacturing their own
products under a new company, Giraffe
Beverages in the late 1990's. Son Ari
Powell, then attending University of
Toronto Law School, set up the company's first manufacturing plant during the
summer between school years, learning
all he could about beverage syrup processing and working alongside food
engineers and processing experts.
Daughter Michelle had now completed
her graduate studies abroad and joined
the family to head up the operations and
accounting for the business.
As the years went on, the business
and the family grew, as the spouses
of Ari and Michelle joined the family business to lead this flourishing
manufacturing business. The senior
management team is now comprised
of CEO Ari Powell, Vice President of
Operations Michelle Powell, Director of
Information Technology Ed Baldor, and
Marketing Director and Food Scientist
Ellen (Hurwitz) Powell.
From its humble beginnings in a small
unit in suburban Toronto, this family
business has maintained its family values and pillars of success. Giraffe was
recently awarded with Canada's "Best
Managed" honor in 2017 as its reach
continues to expand beyond North
America, overseas and into the Caribbean and Middle East with products
made and shipped from the company's
two locations in Mississauga.
Tapping the Best
In 2017, Giraffe Foods celebrated its
20th year anniversary, an accomplishment that it does not take lightly, says
Ari Powell. "With the exception of one
tough year following Sept. 11, we have
Giraffe Foods' love of food and flavor has earned it a reputation for innovation and consistent quality made in its manufacturing <<
and distribution facilities totaling more than 110,000 square feet in the suburban hub of Mississauga, Ontario.
been very fortunate to experience tremendous growth as we expand our offerings in foodservice and retail products, and offer a variety of packaging
options to our customers," he says.
Michelle Powell agrees. "This was a
big year for all of us and a very exciting time to be in the food business," she
says. "We're very proud to be where we
Giraffe Foods' love of food and flavor
has earned it a reputation for innovation
and consistent quality made in its manufacturing and distribution facilities totaling more than 110,000 square feet in
the suburban food hub of Mississauga,
Ontario. It is home to some of Canada's
largest manufacturers such as McCormick Foods and Maple Leaf Foods.
Ellen Powell notes Giraffe Foods
was proud to have been named one
of Deloitte Canada's "Best Managed
Companies" this year. She adds that
the 200-person company hires only topnotch employees.
"We only hire product developers
with both food science and culinary
backgrounds so they not only know the
science behind what makes it work,
they also know how to make it taste
really, really good and that's what our
customers are counting on from us,"
The first interview at Giraffe Foods is
"pretty standard," for food developers,
but if the candidate is lucky enough to
make it to the second round of interviews, his or her skills as a product
developer are challenged as the management team carefully scrutinizes two
or three homemade creations of either
sauces or dressings that have been requested by the management team of the
candidate. The products are then subject to a full sensory evaluation right at
the interview and their abilities are put
food & drink international * winter 2017 volume 2 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com