Louis Hymel, director of purchasing and marketing for Spice World Inc., headquartered in Orlando, FL, said the company is eagerly anticipating the Southeast Produce Council’s 2014 Southern Exposure annual conference and expo. The event will be held Feb. 27 to March 1 at the Caribe Royale Conference Center and Hotel in Orlando.
“We will be at booth number 810,” said Hymel. “Representatives who will be there from Spice World include Chris Whitson, vice president of sales; Drew Caneza, sales executive; Mitch DiMarco, director of foodservice; and Jon Buchwald, human resource director.”
Spice World is a family-owned business that was founded by Andy Caneza over 60 years ago. Today the company — now with three generation of family members working side by side — is one of the larger suppliers of garlic to supermarkets and club stores across the country.
Hymel said, “We recently welcomed two additional third-generation family members to the company. Wayne Caneza and Austin Buddendorff both graduated from Louisiana State University in December.”
The company has been a member of the Southeast Produce Council for seven years, and it has exhibited at every Southern Exposure conference and expo during that time.
“We will be featuring our full line of garlic products at this year’s Southern Exposure,” said Hymel. “This is a great event, and Florida is always a good location this time of the year for drawing many of our customers from across the country.”
He added that over the years, Spice World team members have participated in all of the events that are held during the Southern Exposure event.
“They are all highly professional events, even the more relaxing ones like the golf tournament and gala event,” said Hymel. “Last year we sponsored one of the educational tours, and we held a barbeque at our facility.”
A company the size and scope of Spice World is continually making upgrades and improvements to its facilities and equipment. Hymel said that in January the company installed a new net bag packing machine in its California operation.
Regarding garlic supplies, Hymel said that imports from Argentina have arrived in the U.S., with more to come.
“The Chilean port strikes had created delays for all shipments that are routed through Chile,” he said. “However, everything is now moving smoothly.”
Spice World is a completely vertically integrated company. It handles “from A to Z,” as Hymel said. It has its own seed program, production, harvesting and all other aspects.
“We have total control of everything necessary to get our high-quality garlic and specialty products to distributors and supermarkets nationwide through direct sales,” he said, adding that “Squeeze Garlic” continues to grow exponentially in popularity across the country.