2016 Food and Beverage Forum: Beyond Startup: Whetting the Appetite for Growth

Los Angeles, CA, September 29, 2016… Food industry professionals converged at the Petersen Automotive Museum this morning for a breakfast hosted by GHJ. The respected Los Angeles-based accounting firm provided a setting for manufacturers, packers, co-packers, distributors, retailers and restaurateurs to discuss industry trends and plans for sustaining growth. The forum delved into topics addressed in GHJ 2016 industry whitepaper Beyond Startup: Whetting the Appetite for Growth and included panels with high-level movers and shakers. The whitepaper – published and distributed today – will serve as essential reading as it includes anecdotal examples from some of the most successful companies in Los Angeles.

The 2016 Food and Beverage Whitepaper provides industry business leaders with information about the different stages of growth and how to successfully transition their companies into their next stage of growth.

The Forum dove deeper into topics from the whitepaper ranging from successful strategic planning tips for ultimate growth to best practices for each stage of the growth cycle and revealed trends gleaned from the firm’s recent industry survey.

During his remarks today, GHJ Manager Rick Weis provided an overview of this year’s whitepaper and the trends it reveals. His discussion focused on the challenges during each phase of a company’s lifecycle as highlighted in the whitepaper.

GHJ Food and Beverage Practice Leader and Principal Whitepaper Author Donald Snyder moderated a panel that included:

Natasha Case, Founder and CEO of Coolhaus, a company that was founded in 2009 that sells innovative small desserts through trucks and storefronts in Los Angeles, Dallas and New York City. Coolhaus’ pre-packaged ice cream sandwiches, hand-dipped bars and hand-packed pints can also be found in 4,000+ gourmet grocery stores nationally, including Whole Foods and Sprouts, in larger retailers like Kroger and Safeway and now internationally in Asia and the Middle East.

Also on hand was Steve Richards, CFO of King’s Hawaiian, the Los Angeles landmark that created the first Hawaiian sweet bread more than 60 years ago. Over the past three generations, the family owned business has been dedicated to making irresistible, original-recipe Hawaiian foods including the #1 branded dinner roll in the United States.

Last but not least was Teri Valentine, President and CEO of The Perfect Bite Company, who has been a caterer and restaurateur in Los Angeles since 1990 and has created a business based on the philosophy that foods should be handmade from scratch from the absolute best quality ingredients available.

These impressive panelists discussed challenges related to product development, working with investors and capital and the necessity for calculated planning.

“Our attendees took part in terrific roundtable discussions today and had access to a multitude of experts in a safe environment. They shared how their own companies fare in this economy and prepare for milestones like buying new equipment, launching new products and expanding into new retail stores,” said Snyder, who is a recognized business consultant in food distribution, processing and manufacturing. “I am confident that our guests emerged feeling more prepared and capable for handling whatever challenges 2017 throws their way.”

The food and beverage industry is one that can flourish even in the face of a struggling economy, but it is imperative that business owners and executives know how to navigate financial, market and operational challenges to ensure a strong revenue stream and long-term viability. GHJ provides benchmarking, articles, consulting and best practice sharing to help their food and beverage clients prepare for the future.

The firm produces events throughout the year to bring multiple constituencies together to gain knowledge that will help them plan, make decisions and take action in organizational and community settings. In addition to their food and beverage clients, GHJ serves a variety of industries and has a specialized focus on entertainment and media businesses and nonprofit organizations. The staff offers expertise in transaction advisory and strategic planning.


FOOD AND BEVERAGE REPORT: Beyond Start-up: Whetting the Appetite for Growth