As a large supplier to leading quick-service restaurants and food manufacturers throughout the country, Custom Food Products has long been a valued partner for other companies in the food industry. After a period of financial difficulty, the company is re-energized and refocused on its strengths, and it has aggressive growth plans.
Custom Food Products was founded in 1958 and specializes in customized, fully cooked proteins. With plants in Carson, Calif. (also the company’s headquarters) and Owingsville, Ky., the company has considerable versatility and reach. It supplies items like roast beef and Philly cheesesteaks to leading restaurant chains. Along with its foodservice customers, it also supplies ingredients, such as pizza toppings and pocket sandwich fillings, to large industrial food companies. It is also a contract manufacturer for products like precooked sausage.
Custom Food Products has enjoyed numerous long-term relationships with its foodservice and industrial customers, notes Jon Hickerson, president and chief operating officer of the company. The longest relationship dates back 40 years, while many others have lasted for 10 or more years.
Hickerson joined the company as COO about eight years ago after spending 10 years with ConAgra. The company was looking to aggressively expand its Kentucky plant and modernize its operations in Southern California, and he was asked to help facilitate that growth.
“We added on [to the Kentucky plant] so that we could get into more value-added products, and we really focused on consolidating the two operations in California into this new facility,” Hickerson says. The company’s 150,000-square-foot building in Carson, formerly owned by an airline supplier, includes multiple production lines, as well as plenty of freezer space and dry storage.
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