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Barhyte Specialty Foods' success

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Articles - November 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
// Photos by Adam Bacher
The breakthrough came in 1999, when Barhyte received a call from a representative of Kroger, one of the largest grocery chains in the world, which had just executed a merger with Fred Meyer. The company wanted to start selling condiments under an upscale private label, and they wanted Barhyte to make it for them. The Barhytes recognized the opportunity, and after passing the necessary inspections and tests they began ramping up production in Pendleton. They produced 10 mustards for Kroger, as well as salad dressings, chicken wing sauces and other condiments. The deal with Kroger brought others like it, and today 80% of the family business is in private labels.

In 2006, Barhyte Specialty Foods won an award as grocery vendor of year for the Kroger chain. Chris and Suzie attended the event where they were honored, and the positive feedback they received there compelled them to make their largest investment — an overhaul of Suzie’s test kitchen and expansions of the production facility and warehouses. They followed up that initiative with marketing campaigns to solidify the brand around the family name and Suzie’s cooking, obtaining a trademark for the phrase “Make every meal extraordinary,” and launching a line of marinades, dressings and mustards under the label Saucy Mama. Their newest item, Suzie’s Yellow Mustard, came out in October.

The business didn’t suffer during the recession partly because Barhyte doesn’t sell to many restaurants, and didn’t get hurt when people shifted from dining out to dining at home to save money. The company is on track to improve on its 2010 sales figure. Barhyte says sales have increased every year since the company raked in $145,000 in 1995. He gets a kick out of the monthly pitch calls from the bank that used to turn them down for loans, and from the steady flow of offers to buy the company. He says he plans to continue ignoring those offers to sell.



Travel Pendleton
0 #1 So Proud!Travel Pendleton 2011-10-28 11:58:58
Pendleton is so proud of Barhyte's success and their desire to keep production here! Their facility is beautiful with one of the best views overlooking our valley.
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0 #2 barhyteGuest 2012-12-29 09:13:19
just wanted to say..Im a Barhyte from Wisconsin
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