Acquiring distributors can produce economies of scale, but in the distribution of alcoholic beverages, it can create complications from the differing regulations in states, counties and even municipalities. But this variety did not keep Budweiser of Clarksville, Cookeville, Chattanooga, Hopkinsville and Owensboro (BOCCCHO) from acquiring three distributors in Kentucky and Tennessee from 2006 to 2009.

After more than six decades, Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q has made sure not to let go of the traditions that made it successful, Vice President of Operations Josh Martino says. “The integrity of the barbecue has not changed one iota since it began,” he says. “We just feel like Bono’s is a concept that has not needed much tweaking in the last 60 years to be successful.”

As the owner of the Bend, Ore.-based Biodegradable Food Service LLC, and home of Taterware, Duffy might be in the exact right place at the right time. The Bend, Ore.-based firm sells Taterware, a compostable and biodegradable foodservice product line made from renewable resources, primarily potatoes. The company also manufactures products made from corn, cotton and sugarcane.

Atlantic Seafood Co. of Hampstead, N.C., follows a very simple philosophy when doing business: “We treat people the way we want to be treated,” Secretary and Treasurer Joseph J. Smith Jr. says. It is this simple philosophy that has served Atlantic Seafood so well throughout its 46 years in business as a wholesaler and distributor of fresh and frozen seafood within a seven-state area of the East Coast and southern United States.

What began as a summer job selling ice cream during their college careers has become a successful distribution company for President Ali Pakravan and his partners at Arya Ice Cream. Upon graduation in 1983, Pakravan and his friends entered a weak job market and decided to sell ice cream products with a smaller company in 1984. By 1990, they went into business for themselves by starting Arya Ice Cream after purchasing a similar business.

While running a 50-year-old family-owned butcher shop and retail store in San Francisco, Sil Antonelli learned the styles and tastes of its affluent clientele. So in 2002, he decided to “take a shot” and formed Antonelli’s Inc., which offers fully-cooked, gourmet, home-style “center of the plate” food. “I invested a little money into this company and obviously it worked,” he says.

Gordon Liebl, president of A.L. Schutzman Co., is nuts for, well, nuts. In his 29 years with the company, Liebl has taken the time-honored roasting technique and once local business and expanded it into a large-scale manufacturing facility capable of fulfilling orders nationwide. He also expanded the company’s offerings of nuts to include trail mixes, dried fruits, popcorn and even chocolate-covered products that today would make founder Alfred Lee Schutzman beam with pride.

Like a canary in a coal mine, red abalone is often used as an indicator of water quality because of its sensitivity to impurities. Canaries, however, aren’t known for being good eats, and raising red abalone for food requires a lot of care and sensitivity to their optimal conditions. Since 1968, The Abalone Farm in Cayucos, Calif., has been raising red abalone by meticulously recreating the best conditions for them in nature.

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