Food and Drink - Fall/Winter 2012 - (Page 128)

>p PRODUCERS Venus Wafers Inc. The Natural Choice Venus Wafers’ flatbread and cracker brands and private-label capabilities enable it to carve out a piece of a growing food industry segment. By Jim Harris enus Wafers Inc. founder Napoleon Barmakian established the company in 1931 with a few simple principles learned from his Armenian heritage: fair trading and great-tasting and nutritious products. These principles still drive the Hingham, Mass.-based company’s operations more than 80 years after Barmakian baked and packaged the company’s first 100 percent whole-wheat wafer. While the company’s product line has increased dramatically since its founding, all-natural products remain at its heart. company profile “The crackers and flatbreads we make are simple recipes,” President and CEO Michael Thompson Venus Wafers Inc. says. “The way we do things is a throwback to the Revenues: $ million 10 way they were done before 1930. Our basic ingreHeadquarters: Hingham, Mass. Employees: 24 dients haven’t changed very much.” Specialty: Crackers and flatbreads The company markets crackers and flatbreads Michael Thompson, president and CEO: “If a retail chain wants under the Haute Cuisine, Venus 8 Grain, Nejaime’s a flatbread or a healthier cracker Lavasch, Capeachio’s, Deli-catessen and The they will probably consider us.” Original Mariner Biscuit Company brands as well as 128 food & drink • fall/winter 2012 • << Venus Wafers Inc. has been making crackers and flatbreads using more or less the same ingredients for the last 80 years. V breadsticks under the Vita Vigor brand. In addition to selling its own brands, the company also offers private label and copacking opportunities to major retailers. “Our brands can be found in independent specialty food retailers and health food stores,” Thompson adds. “We don’t compete against Nabisco or Keebler. We are a natural channel player, and the way larger retailers cover that segment, if at all, is through our private-label program.” Venus Wafers’ private label manufacturing and packaging capabilities give it a competitive edge. “There are a lot of companies that do artisanal-style crackers, but many of them aren’t large enough to do private label programs,” Thompson

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food and Drink - Fall/Winter 2012

Food and Drink - Fall/Winter 2012
Tableside Chat
NYC Wine & Food Festival
Going Global
Beverage Focus
Caribou Coffee
Scooter’s Coffee & Yogurt
Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen
Distributors: Food Law
Progressive Gourmet
Rocky Mountain Natural Meats
Seattle Fish Company of New Mexico
Blue Mountain Growers
Dandrea Produce and Wines
Dorr Lobster
Gary’s Seafood and Specialties
Pohl Food Service Inc.
Supply America
Victoria Fine Foods
Bernatello’s Pizza Inc.
Best Mexican Foods
C.F. Gollott & Son
Clipper Seafoods Ltd.
Mountain Foods Products
Siedhoff Distributing
Sterling Pacific Meat
Producers: Business Strategies
Carib Brewery
Heroes Vodka
Mountain Pure Beverage Co.
Deli Express/E.A. Sween Co.
Family Fresh Pack
Haring Catfish Enterprises
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Demerara Distillers
Walker & Sons Inc. – Slap Ya Mama
DRY Soda Co.
Good Time Beverages
Greencore USA
Jaindl Turkey Farms
McCall Farms
Nuovo Pasta Productions
Brewery Ommegang
R.L. Schreiber
Venus Wafers Inc.
Casper’s Ice Cream
Restaurants: Smart Marketing
Extreme Pizza
Buffalo Wings & Rings
Fatburger North America Inc.
Famous Famiglia
Francesca’s Restaurants Inc.
Aurelio’s Pizza
Yoshinoya America
Crepe Delicious
FREEB!RDS World Burrito
Razzoo’s Cajun Café
Independent Restaurants
Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant
The Alicart Restaurant Group
The Optimist
The Olive Tree Italian Restaurant
The Epicurean Group
Salty’s Seafood Grills
Retailers: Shopper Marketing
Weigel’s Inc.
Royal Buying Group
The Last Page

Food and Drink - Fall/Winter 2012