JTM Food Group

Established in 1960 as a butcher shop known locally for square burger patties and beef barbecue, in recent years JTM has built a national reputation as a high-quality supplier of a broad range of better-tasting, healthier foods. It also has evolved into an efficient food production organization for a variety of markets.

JTM is an international and also multi-segmented food processing company still rooted in the principles of the original butcher shop, which was founded as Maas Brothers Meats. In 1974, it was renamed Jack Maas Meats, and in 1980, was christened JTM Food Group to reflect its diversification.

In its fourth generation of family ownership and operation, JTM Food Group specializes in menu solutions that focus on customer service, quality and innovation, the company states.

It serves thousands of schools, restaurants, military and government organizations, and food distributors and retailers throughout North America.

In 2011, JTM was named one of the Cincinnati Business Courier’s Fast 55, an award that recognizes the fastest-growing private firms in the greater Cincinnati area.

Kettle, Meat and Bakery
JTM’s computerized kettle cooking technology uses improved agitation and steam pressure. The kettle operation can fill any size of order from its two different capacities: 3,000 pounds per hour or 12,000 pounds per hour.

During processing, the fat can be drained from the meat to reduce its content but not flavor. The products then are chilled rapidly and quick-frozen to lock in their peak flavor and freshness, the company says. Boilable or steamable pouches of food are available in sizes from 8 ounces to 8 pounds and can be shipped frozen and stored for up to 14 days refrigerated. This saves freezer space and rethermalization time, the company maintains.

Meats can be prepared at a rate of 8,000 pounds hourly in an oven that is steam-injected and fully automated. The company asserts that this retains the juiciness of the product. Two machines can form ground meat in a variety of shapes and sizes, and when the meat is fully cooked, it can be quick-frozen for immediate shipping in bulk or individually to ensure portion consistency.

JTM Food Group’s bakery has a capacity of 6,000 pounds hourly. A proofing time of 1 to 1.5 hours allows products to rise naturally before insertion into a 120-foot-long oven with five different baking chambers. A reinforced master case can prevent crushing of products in shipment. Rolls are packed in units of from six to 12, and bread is quick-frozen immediately after production and shipped frozen to provide freshness.

Core Benefits
JTM ended 2011 with its best sales year to date. “Last year was a very good year for us,” declared Jack Maas Jr., vice president of sales and research and development, in a statement. “As we further penetrate the foodservice Industry and continue to spread our wings into markets like healthcare, it is a natural step to reevaluate our brand and image.”

JTM has identified four core benefits to using its products:

Better taste – JTM’s menu of more than 600 fully cooked products and components celebrate menu variety. The company combines the efforts of its on-staff culinary professionals – including three certified chefs – on-trend market intelligence and a collaborative spirit to work hand-in-hand with its customers, it says. “JTM is completely committed to great food, and we deliver the flavors that customers demand,” the company states.

Healthier solutions – JTM continues to work hard to develop healthier menu solutions for all its customers, the company says. From proprietary methods of preparation to an experienced staff focused on nutritional standards, JTM reduces sodium and fat in hundreds of existing menu items with an eye toward always developing healthier new offerings without losing flavor.

Safer, more efficient kitchen – JTM’s priority is preventing foodborne illness and creating a kitchen environment that keeps staff members safe while maximizing their efficiency and productivity. The company’s products are fully cooked and exceed customers’ safety objectives while freeing up customers’ culinary staffs, the company says.

Increased sales – JTM prepares on-trend, fully-cooked, healthy foods through its commitment to proprietary preparation, customer service, customized culinary support and marketing solutions. The company collaborates with food professionals at thousands of schools, restaurants, military/government organizations, distributors and retailers throughout North America, it says.

Military Food
JTM’s military division was founded in 1992 after the first Gulf War. Its focus is selling retail products to military base commissaries worldwide. The company continues to partner with the Defense Commissary Agency, a U.S. Department of Defense agency that operates more than 250 commissaries worldwide. In 2005, the company began selling products designed for troop feeding, including meals ready to eat and unitized group rations.

Last September, JTM Food Group added Fernando Gonzalez Jr. to its military sales division. Gonzalez has more than 14 years of experience in the U.S. Army and four years in the U.S. Navy. He will specialize in garrison feeding and assist with strategic planning and implementation of all aspects of JTM’s military sales division.

Gonzalez was raised in the foodservice business and learned the ropes watching his mother work with various food manufacturers around the country. He worked for his family’s food brokerage company for more than 10 years, gaining experience in all foodservice segments, ranging from business, industry and chain restaurants to healthcare and schools.