Quality, sustainability and fair play – Stefani LiDestri credits these for the success of LiDestri Food & Beverage. LiDestri, vice president of marketing and business development, points out that the company has an in-house quality team conducting tests round the clock. “We are confident in stating that our quality systems are the best in the world,” she says. “We do third party audits regularly and voluntarily.”
The company was originally founded 35 years ago as Cantisano Foods, before being bought by the LiDestri family in 2002, which continued to build on tradition of producing sauces, salsas and dips.
Another tradition the LiDestri team carries on is building partnerships with its customers. “Long-term relationships lend to our ongoing success,” LiDestri says. “Our largest customers, as well as the majority of our supplier relationships, have been in place for over two decades.
“As we evaluate potential business opportunities, we’re always cognizant that good deals are only possible when all parties benefit,” she continues. “Leveraging buying power gained through long-term relationships allows us to offer competitive pricing, reliable procurement and on-time production scheduling.”
Strength in Facilities
LiDestri offers its products from coast to coast, with five manufacturing facilities in Rochester, N.Y.; Pennsauken, N.J.; Fresno, Calif.; Dundee, N.Y.; and its headquarters in Fairport, N.Y.
The company produces more than 2 million jars of product a day, and claims to offer the lowest landed cost available. LiDestri notes that having multiple manufacturing sites adds great value because it provides customers with national representation and low transportation costs.
“We have a large staff of well seasoned engineers that keep us ahead of the curve.” LiDestri says. “When shopping for a food or beverage supplier, customers want to visit a clean state-of-the-art facility with staff they have confidence in.”
LiDestri’s newest addition is its Rochester facility. At 625,000 square feet, the company is building an innovation center inside the manufacturing facility. LiDestri says the production lines in the new facility will allow the company to service the foodservice industry very competitively.
“In Rochester, we will offer rigid, semi-rigid and flexible food and beverage lines,” she explains. “The company will be able to service small brands, boutique businesses, and offer larger companies the opportunity to test products and do test markets. Because the other facilities are set up for mass production, the innovation center and new production lines are adding a new dimension to our repertoire – a location that services unique small scale projects very well.”
LiDestri anticipates an increase in business once the innovation center is ready. She believes smaller brands and line extensions from larger companies will find a great fit at the Rochester facility, and she also mentions that LiDestri is in talks with one of the largest concessionaires in the country.
Rochester also will be home to the beverage division of LiDestri. The new facility, plus the 28 12,000-gallon tanks that were just installed, increases the company’s spirits capacity by more than 400 percent.
Sustainability is taken seriously at LiDestri. The company hired a full-time sustainability manager this year and is working on having its sustainability efforts posted company wide to the intranet system. “So employees can be kept abreast on how they can aid sustainability,” LiDestri says. “We have a goal to hit a 25 percent decrease in paper use by 2013, and we are committed to installing technology that will decrease our water usage across facilities by 50 percent by 2014.”
Operating with a personal touch, LiDestri says many customers choose to work with the LiDestri team because it is made up of straight shooters.
“It is what we hear a lot,” LiDestri explains. “We are an interesting combination of down to earth and expert people – our cultural personality goes a long way. We are confident in both our team and our services, but the people who work at our facilities seem to be the clincher for the business we get, the facilities just end up being a big bonus.”