1 Feb 2018 | posted by Gary A. White | in Posts
George, a bachelor, had romantic visions of packing his bags and venturing to Asia to make his fortune in the Himalayan tea business. His brother Richard, married and domesticated, toyed with the idea of being a surveyor, not exciting, but practical. These were back-up plans, just in case this last-gasp effort failed to save the family business.
In 1824 their father John Cadbury started a retail coffee, tea and cocoa business in Birmingham, England. The business prospered, especially cocoa, a novelty from the New World that was gaining popularity as a powdered drink. In 1831 he expanded into cocoa manufacturing. With the passing of his wife Candia to tuberculosis in 1855, John lost, not only his wife, but his zest for life and the business he worked at for over 30 years. In 1861 John turned the now declining operation over to his two sons, George and Richard, hoping their youth and enthusiasm would turn the course.
Nothing worked. Their products were indistinct and tired. New products failed. Funds were evaporating. In that valley of desperation, George struck upon a clear idea of the necessary, but risky step that had to be taken. As a devout Quaker, he surely believed this was a revelation from God. In an age of increased concern over the safety of processed food and beverage products, with adulterated cocoa at the top of the list, the answer seemed to lie in a purer, healthier product, a unique position in a crowded market. But, this involved the purchase of new, expensive machinery imported from Holland and an advertising campaign, something anathema to Quaker business philosophy.
The risk was taken. Cocoa Essence, with the tag line, “Absolutely Pure, Therefore Best,” was launched. The company was saved. Today, Cadbury, a subsidiary of Mondelēz International, is the world’s second largest confectionery brand after Wrigley’s, selling in over 40 countries, generating more than $3 billion in global net revenues in 2016. The courage to take risks and aggressive advertising are ingrained in the company’s culture. Nothing demonstrates this better than Cadbury World.
1 Jan 2018 | posted by Gary A. White | in Posts
Steve McQueen rode a Triumph TR6 in The Great Escape, Tom Cruise a Triumph 2 Speed Triple in Mission Impossible and Chris Pratt a Triumph Scrambler in Jurassic World. All three motorcycles are featured in Triumph Motorcycles’ newly launched Triumph Factory Visitor Experience, opened on November 1, 2017 at the Triumph headquarters and factory in Hinckley, Leicestershire, England.
The five-million-dollar, two-floor facility is a celebration of all things Triumph over its 115-year history. The Experience provides its expected 20,000 annual visitors a wide variety of displays highlighting Triumph’s historic achievements in design, engineering, racing, popular culture and the largest Triumph Motorcycle collection in the world including the very first Triumph, the No. 1 from 1902 and the 1959 Bonneville that broke the world’s speed record.
As with most “very cool” Industrial Theme Park concepts, the Experience features food and drink at the Triumph 1902 Café, a gift shop, the Triumph Store featuring a wide selection of exclusive Triumph branded products, including preworn leather jackets, t-shirts, baseball caps, limited edition posters, etc., and a factory tour featuring the multiple steps in designing, manufacturing , and finishing Triumph Motorcycles.
Edinburgh, Scotland based Studio MB was responsible for the master plan, including concept, interpretative and exhibition designs. Sysco Productions,Godalming, England, created the state-of-the-art audiovisual and multimedia features throughout the Experience.
8 Sep 2017 | posted by Gary A. White | in Posts
Growing up in Mountlake Terrace, a suburb north of Seattle, a favorite family outing was to drive east on Highway 2, cross the Cascade Mountains over Stevens Pass to Wenatchee, WA, often during the Apple Blossom Festival. The 150-mile journey took two and one-half hours, crossing the great east-west divide that separates Washington State, two states in one with contrasting politics, landscapes and weather. My father used to say, “let’s go east and dry out!”
Dotting the landscape and tickling the funny bone were the Burma Shave signs, including such classics as, ‘PROPER, DISTANCE, TO HIM WAS BUNK, PULLED HIM OUT, OF SOME GUY’S TRUNK,” “WITHIN THIS VALE, OF TOIL, AND SIN, YOUR HEAD GROWS BALD, BUT NOT YOUR CHIN,” and “HE LIT A MATCH, TO CHECK GAS TANK, THAT’S WHY, THEY CALL HIM, SKINLESS FRANK.”
Challenging the Burma Shave signs in quantity, if not in verse, were the blue and white, “Tiny’s, Cashmere, WA” signs. As one might expect, Dick “Tiny” Graves wasn’t. He was a mountain of a man with his crew cut topping six feet three inches and his weight cracking 400 pounds. Physically huge, his legend might have been even larger.
Tiny’s Fruit Stand dominated the Highway 2 landscape, 24 hours a day, nine months a year, as a traveler passed Cashmere on the way to Wenatchee. In the 1950’s and 60’s it was one of the largest fruit stands in the nation. If was an awesome display of retail extravaganza: 300 feet long trimmed with a canvas awning, eight to ten-foot cutouts featuring milkshakes, hamburgers and apples attached to the roof along with waving flags and the largest neon sign in the Northwest at that time. White cars and trucks were painted with big red apples and the Tiny’s logo…..an apple with a derby wearing worm poking its head out.
10 Aug 2017 | posted by Gary A. White | in Posts
My mind was wandering a tad more than usual when I spotted it, on the bookshelf behind my desk. Bright red, tall and thin, its treasures barely covered, remarkably tempting. One never to resist a good temptation, I picked it up, removed the clear plastic wrapping and gently thumbed through its delightful pages.
An American classic. It was not Moby Dick, The Sun Also Rises, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, but rather, “Sun-Maid Raisins & Dried Fruits,” the 100th Anniversary marketing masterpiece that triggered memories of a wonderful project and a visit to an equally wonderful company.
I was hired in October, 2013 by the USDA’s Cochran Fellowship Program to arrange an in-bound trade mission for eight guests representing Chengdu, China’s baking industry, looking for suppliers. The program included attending the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) in Las Vegas, meeting suppliers in the greater Los Angeles area and finally, leaving the best for last, meeting companies and touring facilities in California’s Great Central Valley. All California meetings were arranged by Alicia Rios and Frank M. Nuñez, Center for International Trade Development, Clovis, California.
It is obvious why the Central Valley is called “Great.” It dominates central California, 40 – 60 miles wide, 450 miles long nestled between the Sierra Nevada to the east, the Cascade Range and Klamath Mountains to the north, the Coast Range and San Francisco Bay to the west and the Tehachapi Mountains to the south, covering approximately 18,000 square miles, just about 11% of California’s total land area. It is divided into two smaller valleys: the Sacramento Valley in the north and the San Jaoquin Valley in the south.
The Central Valley is the fastest growing region in California with a current population of 6.5 million. The Valley is dissected by Interstate 5, Interstate 80, California State Route 99, the Sacramento River, the San Joaquin River and the Kings River. A number of wonderful communities dot the Valley including Bakersfield, Chico, Clovis, Fresno, Modesto, Sacramento and Yuba City.
It is not only California’s most productive agricultural region, but also one of the most productive growing regions in the world, accounting for more than one-half of the fruits, vegetables and nuts grown in the United States. One of those fruits and vital to this blog is grapes, more specifically raisins dried from those grapes.
20 Jul 2017 | posted by Gary A. White | in Posts
After spending a bit of time contemplating the recently completed third annual FABREO Food & Beverage Expo this past June, I welcomed the friendly visit of an interesting observation. Many of our exhibitors from throughout the Pacific Northwest were farmers who have diversified their business by processing their harvested produce into food and beverage products. Value Added Agriculture is the tired and worn, but still applicable, term for this process. The effectiveness of Value Added Agriculture as an industrial cluster development tool has been debated for as long as I can remember, which, depending on the time of day, could be five minutes ago.
I had the privilege of meeting the people that own and operate these companies. Our conversations provided comfort that the American entrepreneurial spirit is still alive and well, at least in the food and beverage industry. Some are brand new to the business. Others are more experienced, but still barely out of the shallow end of the pool, walking forward step-by-step into the deep and unknown. They are all passionate and optimistic about their companies, products and future.
They were scattered throughout the Expo, booth number this and booth number that, talking, laughing and selling. Each one anticipating uncovering that hidden, but necessary, resource or contact that will launch them to the exalted level of their dreams, before those dreams are but a distant memory. Their stories are the fabric of the Pacific Northwest food and beverage industry.