Chris Steinmetz explains how a strong parent company and new product lines helped this health food manufacturer and supplier grow into a multi-million-dollar business. When Rich Products Corporation acquired French Meadow Bakery in July 2006, both companies bloomed. The new ventures team at Rich Products developed a business plan that included expansion into the health and wellness industry, and French Meadow, an independently owned supplier of healthy baked goods, was a perfect fit.

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This organic and natural baking company aims to provide more wholesome options for the whole family. Doug Radi explains how it gets organic shoppers to take a bite. In 2005, a private equity firm based in New York City saw an opportunity to consolidate the baked goods segment of the organic and natural foods industry. The Charter House Group acquired Vermont Bread Company, The Baker, Matthew’s All Natural Baking, and Rudi’s Organic, bringing together four strong, regional brands to create Charter Baking.

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How quality products and unsurpassed service are ensuring the success of this family-run lumberyard despite a recession and stiff competition. Roughly 50 years ago, Maurice Brock was trucking rough– sawn lumber in Southern New Hampshire, providing the raw materials to a wooden box manufacturer. He knew the rise of plastic would eliminate that business, so one day in 1961, he bought $1,000 worth of a new kind of wood—plywood, set the product up in his garage, and with his wife Anne started selling to local homeowners and contractors.

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This company doubled in size last year by utilizing both its natural and technological resources. “When you turn an hourglass, there’s a lot of sand at the top, and there’s a lot of space at the bottom to be filled,” Paul said. “But the sand moves very slowly through the pinched middle. Similarly, we manufactured a lot of food products, and there were a lot of consumers ready to buy them, but accessibility limited the exchange.” 

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These pioneers helped many companies in many markets create a brand identity that resonates with consumers. But their work is far from done. After 65 years of leadership as a design and brand strategy firm, Lippincott is only getting started. According to Randall Stone, senior partner, creating some of the most recognizable brands in multiple industries is but a steppingstone to future projects.

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This family-owned disposable and janitorial products distributor relies on an informed sales force and exceptional technology to meet customer needs. In the words of Jordan Sedler, president of Paper Enterprises, Inc. and son of founder Herbert Sedler, “There’s nothing high-frills or hi-tech about the products we provide. You eat and go to the bathroom every day, and we’re right there to make sure those products get to you when you need them.”

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Innovation, focus, and a willingness to change led these private label makers of bar soap to a leadership position in the industry. Next time you lather up in the shower, that squeaky clean feeling may not be due only to the brand name etched on the bar. Vermont’s Twincraft Soap has been making soap since 1971, and under the leadership of Peter Asch, president and CEO, the company has become the leading global private label manufacturer of high-end specialty bar soap.

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This dairy distributor is growing again by refocusing on its foundation: high quality products at fair prices, delivered with outstanding service. After 56 years in business, Polka Dot Dairy is exhibiting great adaptability to business in the 21st century. This family-owned dairy distribution company, which went live with its first Web site a few weeks ago, is picking up speed.

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