Born out of a 10th floor candy kitchen belonging to a flagship Seattle department store, Seattle Gourmet Foods actually began as “Frederick’s Fine Chocolates” when it incorporated itself in Kent, WA in 1993.
At the time the company had one product (a chocolate confection) and one customer, along with a lot of empty warehouse space… however the company was not lacking talent or drive. After a few short months the company began expanding opportunistically, first by purchasing “Maury Island Farms” a local jam & preserve manufacturer, followed by the purchase of “Paradise Farms,” a producer of chocolates & taffies with an “aloha” flair.
In 1999 “Buckeye Beans & Herbs” joined the family with its excellent soup & corn bread mixes. The company also entered the world of private label manufacturing and officially changed its name to “Seattle Gourmet Foods” (“SGF”) to better reflect its diversity. 2002 saw the additions of “Coy’s Country” baking mixes and “Quinn’s” salsas and pepper jellies, along with more investment in confection manufacturing.
2003 brought bakery capabilities into the mix with the purchase of “Biringer’s Farm Fresh” NASFT award winning tea cookies. 2004 was the year that “Anna’s Honey” came onboard, followed in 2005 by “Innovative Cookies.”
Throughout all of this activity, SGF maintained its commitment to quality and integrity; always maintaining the identity of the high quality brands being added to its portfolio and leveraging its growing capabilities to better serve its customers.
After assessing its greatest strengths and opportunities, SGF had its most active year to date in 2006, purchasing 3 large companies that year. The first was Dilettante, a premium Seattle-based chocolatier that was founded in 1976. With Dilettante came a retail division that operates six “Mocha Cafes” and a full Mocha Martini Bar located throughout Seattle. More importantly, SGF was able to expand its already existing confectionery business with a nationally recognized brand and the years of expertise that came with it, including its founding chocolatier Dana Davenport.
This move turned SGF into one of the largest panning operators in the US (manufacturer of chocolate covered fruits, nuts, etc.), as well as a highly efficient truffle and truffle crème manufacturer.
Following the purchase of Dilettante was the acquisition of “Vitech Corp”, the manufacturer of “Myntz!”, a well known brand of breath mints. SGF was able to streamline the process and is one of the largest domestic breath mint manufactures today. Finally came “Merlino Baking Company”, a large bakery manufacturer, primarily of hand-decorated cookies.
By combining these specialties with its existing bakery capabilities, SGF can now produce over 50,000 hand decorated cookies a day and supplies them to chains across the country.
With its continued growth and improvements SGF has proven to be a trusted supplier across the gourmet food industry.