Specialty Food Magazine

Winter 2020

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/1194330

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Page 66 of 115

64 SPECIALTY FOOD SPECIALTYFOOD.COM CONTACT US AT 800.999.4052 OR SALES@TERRAPINRIDGE.COM Best Sellers & New Products B t bo w lds Fancy Food Show Booth #6369 Fancy Food Show Booth #1927 PRODUCER PROFILE "The amazing thing about Starbucks—even with Howard Schultz not being there operationally anymore—is there's this openness to innovation," Pruisken says. "At the time, we were really entrepreneurial and gritty and passionate about what we were doing and that resonated with them. It was European-derived, a unique product that had momentum. And then they saw the product had legs and appealed to their core consumer." Today, Rip Van Wafels come in seven flavors and more than 20 SKUs. Chocolate Brownie, Vanilla, Snickerdoodle, Strawberry, and Cookies & Cream were designed to appeal to the American palate. Dutch Caramel & Vanilla harks back to the country they came from. "With enough exposure, we could be the next Oreo," Pruisken says, referring to the top-selling cookie in the world, which commands more than $2 billion in annual sales. To be closer to friends and family, Pruisken and De Leon are now based in Brooklyn. They have 16 employees and revenue has been growing by triple digits every year. In addition to the brand being featured at many natural food shops, it's stocked at mainstream grocers like Wegmans, Publix, Stop & Shop, and CVS pharmacies. Looking to the future, they say they do not have a five-year plan. They have a "forever" plan. To that end, they recently shortened the company name to Rip Van, which will allow them to expand beyond wafels. "We want to leverage the brand into other iconic products," Pruisken says, without disclosing specifics. "America has this halo effect on the rest of the world, and people will be more open to considering buying a product if it's different enough." One day, he hopes, his less-sugary wafels may even be sold back in Holland. Julie Besonen writes for The New York Times and is a restaurant columnist for nycgo.com.

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