This year’s PMA Foodservice was a special year for DMA Solutions, as the company sent two first timers to the show, Baharan and me! Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, Baharan and I spent the weekend absorbing new information at the educational sessions, tackling the show floor to shake hands and meet with the growers, and of course sampling all the delicious chef-inspired creations a Foodservice show has to offer. Our duo was blown away by too many things to count, and as newbies to the produce industry there was one theme that stood out to us: all of the impressive family owned companies.
The wealth of family farming traditions being handed down generation to generation was apparent on the floor at PMA Foodservice. In fact, it is safe to say that around 62% of the companies exhibiting at PMA Foodservice identify themselves as “family owned.” I don’t know how that compares to other industries, but since 35% of Fortune 500 companies are family owned, I have a feeling that there is a little something special about the family entrepreneurship in our industry. After talking with many of you, we found that family owned companies not only have a legacy and longevity, but they’re passionate, they foster leadership, they have strong ethics, and they create an extended family with all of their employees. Here’s just a handful of the impressive family owned companies that we met during the expo: