G & R Foods Inc.
When Mike Glick graduated from college in June of 1995, he moved back to Reedsburg, Wisconsin and started G&R Foods Inc. with his father Jarold Glick. Specializing in selling cheeses, butter and dairy powders, the Glick family has been in the dairy manufacturing and distributing business for more than 70 years. “I was about 3 years old when I started going to the cheese factory with my dad,” says Glick. “I was born into the industry.”
Although the family has experience in manufacturing, that is not currently the sector that G&R Foods is in. “G&R Foods is what is known as a ‘trader’ or a ‘broker’,” explains Glick. “The Glick family has owned numerous cheese and yogurt manufacturing facilities. That’s what separates us from most other trading companies. The fact that we have experience in the manufacturing aspect enables us to reach out to our suppliers and have them manufacture a special product for one of our customers.”
G&R Foods focuses heavily on the food service and ingredient sector. “We do some retail, but very little,” says Glick. “Most of our product is for further manufacturing. It will be used as an ingredient, flavoring, or processed cheese among many other things. It’s pretty much limitless what it can be used for.”
As an importer and exporter of dairy products, a majority of the items the company deals with are produced in its home state of Wisconsin. G&R Foods supplies quality cheese to retail, food service and industrial customers. With a variety of cheese flavors, G&R Foods provides natural, processed and imitation cheese. Imitation or substitute cheese is typically produced with casein - a milk protein - and vegetable oil. This offers cost savings and advantages such as melting functionality and shelf stability.
Since the beginning, G&R Foods has always made customer service its top priority. “We are a small family business that focuses 100 percent on our customers,” says Glick. “We treat them the way we want to be treated.” The company has maintained relationships with some customers for 20 years.
On a visit to the G&R Foods facility the customer service representatives would immediately stand out, says Glick. “You would see people on the telephone,” says Glick. “That’s what we do; we spend our lives on the telephone. We’re always calling our customers to see if everything arrived on time, if there were any issues with it. We’re always outsourcing more products and connecting with new clients. We prove our core values of fairness, honesty and respect in every transaction.”
The relationships that G&R Foods maintains with its clients are largely due to the fact that many of them are second and third generation. “My father has been in the business for a long time so he is really well known,” says Glick. “People in the business know our last name and that they can trust us. That has sustained many of our relationships over the years.”
The situation is similar with the suppliers that G&R foods works with. “We have suppliers that the family has worked with for 70 years,” says Glick.
A growing company
There are many ways to measure success. For many companies the bottom line remains the key factor in calculating growth. For others, the acquisition of new clients determines the level of achievement. At G&R, the key performance indicator is the growth of relationships with its clients.
“When we sell our current clients different products, that is a big indicator of success to us,” explains Glick. “When we have a customer that is going to buy cheese from us, odds are that they are going to buy some butter or some milk powder from us. Oftentimes, instead of gaining hundreds of new customers, if we can do more business with the current customers we have, that is a success story to me because it shows that they are happy with our services and they trust that they will continue to be happy with us.”
While the Reedsburg location is a sales and customer service office, G&R Foods’ inventory is stored in warehouses throughout the state of Wisconsin. “We have some storage facilities and distribution centers around the state as well as all around the country,” says Glick. “We’ll also be looking to establish some new locations in the near future.”
The core values of G&R Foods Inc. are fairness and honesty. In conjunction with its trusted suppliers and customers, the company strives to deliver products of the highest quality at the most competitive price. Glick takes pride in the fact that these services are provided while treating the company’s employees, suppliers and customers with the utmost respect.