Human taste buds are capable of detecting five qualities in the tastes of foods and beverages: salty, sour, bitter, sweet and umami (savory). Chefs, cooks and food producers constantly work to develop items that combine these qualities in ways that are pleasing to the taste and make their customers come back for more. And when it comes to quality flavor creation, R.L. Schreiber Inc. is one of the leaders of the market.
Based in Pompano Beach, Fla., R.L. Schreiber is a manufacturer of food bases, spices, seasoning blends and related products, serving the foodservice and food production industry. The family owned and operated company was founded in 1968 by Raymond L. Schreiber. He started by selling soup bases directly to restaurants in South Florida, but the quality of his goods allowed him to expand west and north to New England. Eventually, the company expanded its offering into spices and seasoning blends.
“This is a national company with a 45-year history in foodservice – it is a well-regarded national brand,” stresses Joe DeCaro, vice president marketing and sales. “We create flavor-specific soup bases and seasonings for our foodservice and manufacturing customers. Our corporate chef works with the culinary staffs of food manufacturers and restaurant chains to create flavor-specific products. It is an R&D-intensive exercise.”
R&D is something R.L. Schreiber takes seriously, demonstrated in part by the new 135,000-square-foot facility it is opening in Lebanon, Ky. The state-of-the-art operation will include a dedicated kitchen and laboratory for the R&D team, as well as a quality control lab and all of the company’s production and warehousing.
“The company’s first plant was in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and then when it expanded, it moved to Pompano Beach, where we are now,” according to CEO Greg Ransdell.
A Big Change
The next phase of expansion of the new Kentucky facility will be completed in 2013. With its additional space and advanced capabilities, Ransdell says, it will allow R.L. Schreiber to ramp up R&D, quality control and production capacities as necessary. The addition of new production lines will increase production capacity from what was available in Florida.
“With this new facility, we will be running more efficiently and effectively,” Ransdell explains. “The facility is working to achieve SQF status in the first quarter of 2013 and meets all global food safety standards and international rules. It also gives us a centralized office and support services, which will provide easier access to the plant for our salespeople.”
The company is owned by five members of the Schreiber family, who sit on the board of directors. They are not active in the daily operations, but Ransdell – who is not part of the family – is appreciative of their support and pleased with the decision to move to a more central area of the country.
“It is unique when a family will step up and allow their company to go through changes – and this is a major change – that will allow the company to better compete,” he says. “This move is important for the company’s future.”
The Florida office will remain as the corporate headquarters and continue as a distribution center. Ransdell notes all of the production has moved to the Kentucky plant, except for the soup base line. That operation is being constructed and will open in the middle of 2013.
The new facility, Ransdell says, will make it even easier for R.L. Schreiber to maintain its focus on quality control – something about which it is diligent. Everything that comes through the company’s doors – every spice or product used – is checked for pathogens and checked to ensure it meets customers’ specifications.
“Quality control is food safety,” DeCaro says. “It is a major part of our entire process and everyone is trained to keep it that way. We provide training constantly and consistently to keep our standards high.
“Our willingness to focus on customers’ specific needs and work with them to meet that need really sets us apart,” DeCaro continues. “They are willing to give us their business and their trust, and we do not take that for granted.”