Specialty Food Magazine

FALL 2019

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/1156964

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Page 30 of 91

Jake Dell, owner, Katz's Delicatessen Evan Delahanty, founder and CEO, Peaceful Fruits Evan Delahanty is seeking to use his fledgling packaged food business to improve commu- nities, both in the Amazon rainforest and in northeast Ohio. He created Peaceful Fruits, a company that makes natural snacks from whole fruits, after serving in the Peace Corps in Suriname, a small country in South America. "I wanted to stay connected with the folks down there, and I zeroed in on sustainable foods, especially the superfood acai," says Delahanty, who is 34. The business was featured on the TV show "Shark Tank," and although it failed to secure an investment, the appearance helped the company obtain some traditional financ- ing and validated its community-centric model, Delahanty says. Peaceful Fruits recently opened a production facility near Akron, Ohio, that focuses on hiring people in the area with disabilities. Although the company has not yet become profitable, Delahanty thinks it could break even in about a year. "We are still investing heavily in growth for as long as we can afford it," he says. Delahanty says the company's innovative approach to economic development and sustainable produc- tion has presented challenges. "We're ultra clean label, ultra minimally processed, and there's not a lot of people to turn to who have done this before," he says. "We've had to blaze our own trail to a degree." Delahanty says he hopes the company is acquired by a larger enterprise at some point that can preserve its way of doing business. "Ultimately my goal is to show the world that social enterprise is good business, that you can do things the right way for the community and make money," he says.—M.H. Katz's Delicatessen is one of the most iconic places in New York City. Featured on many "must-visit" lists and in at least a half dozen movies (most famously, "When Harry Met Sally"), Katz's is an historic gem. So, the challenge for fifth-generation owner Jake Dell isn't about gaining publicity but keeping the 131-year-old business fresh. Dell took over the family business in 2009 after graduating from Tufts University with a mission to preserve the history and cultural significance of the deli while creating new opportunities for the brand. "My goal is to bring the deli into a new age, all while maintaining its nostalgia and old-world feel," he says. In that vein, Dell has overseen the launch of A Taste of Katz's food stall in Brooklyn's DeKalb Market Hall, a revamped online service with free two-day shipping, and efforts that clue in a whole new generation about "how to order like a regular," at the landmark Lower East Side restaurant. "The food—from our legendary pastrami and corned beef, to the matzoth ball soup—will always remain the same," he says. "However, I've made strides in modern- izing and expanding the business' operations, largely through Katz's nationwide shipping service. From fresh-made latkes to a complete Taste of New York package, anyone in the country can be instantly transported to what's arguably the best Jewish deli in the world."—A.F. Age: 31 Fifth-generation owner simultaneously preserving and refreshing an iconic brand Age: 34 Aids the Amazon rainforest through a sustainable packaged food business PHOTO: WHATNOT SHOP PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTO: KATZ'S DELI 28 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com 12 under 35

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