Innovative Food Holdings (IVFH) builds dynamic scalable businesses by selling specialty foods that are difficult to find through traditional channels. Our expertise is forging close relationships with the producers, growers, makers and distributors of specialty products, then carefully selecting our suppliers based on their quality, uniqueness and reliability.
The IVFH team is adept at evaluating and certifying the food safety and supply chain capabilities of small batch producers who don’t typically sell through broad-based sales channels. We then partner to seek out the freshest, most unique, origin-specific gourmet cheese, meat, produce, and premium ingredients available, and distribute them directly from our robust network of vendors and warehouses within 24 – 72 hours. We also source, package, and brand a meaningful segment of these products ourselves, enabling us to better control the assortment, offer more flexibility and variety to our customers, and capture additional margin.
We leverage this unique, premium assortment to serve the needs of two key customer groups within the Specialty Foods category: Professional Chefs and Home Gourmets.
First, we serve Professional Chefs in settings such as restaurants, hotels, country clubs, national chain accounts, casinos, hospitals and catering houses. We provide these premium customers with products that can’t typically be found through their broadline distributor’s warehouse assortment. We distribute these products directly to Professional Chefs in Chicago through our subsidiary, Artisan Specialty Foods, Inc., and nationally through our e-commerce businesses on Amazon.com and our own website. We also drop ship specialty food to Professional Chefs nationally through the websites of broadline distributors, such as US Foods, Inc. Between this variety of sales channels, IVFH is able to serve our Professional Chef customers wherever they are located.
Second, we serve Home Gourmets ranging from the casual host looking for a spread of freshly cut gourmet cheese and charcuterie, to the aspiring home menu planner looking to expand their palate, to the passionate foodie who can’t find their favorite ingredients at their local grocery store. Much of this business is based on the category trends we are seeing on the Professional side of the business, and in partnership with the same suppliers. We have used our understanding of the customer to build meaningful loyal segments of the business around gift baskets and subscriptions, as well as a la carte purchases. We sell this gourmet assortment through our iGourmet.com and Mouth.com websites as well as on third party marketplaces like Amazon.com and Walmart.com. Our Home Gourmet customers rave about their experience, with Net Promoter Scores (NPS) on par with some of the leading consumer brands in the world.
We service these two customer bases from a unified network of three warehouses: a 200K square foot facility in Mountain Top, Pennsylvania (an important industry distribution hub for the Northeast), a 28K square foot facility in the greater Chicago area, and a 5K square foot facility in Bonita Springs, FL. We have the capabilities to pack and ship frozen, refrigerated, and ambient products, enabling us to sell a broad range of specialty foods. We also have GFSI/SQF certifications, allowing compatibility with the highest standards of food handling supply chains in the world, and the quality and food safety that our premium customers expect from us. All three sites have the ability to ship packages and pallets of all sizes through overnight shipping. We also leverage our own fleet of trucks to deliver directly to our Professional Chef customers within our reach.
Our proprietary technology platform underpins our entire business, driving transparency and efficiency up and down the supply chain. Orders flow in real time, whether to our warehouses or to our vendor partners, to allow for fast handling and fulfillment. Our picking is enabled by efficient scan-based, handheld devices, ensuring order and inventory accuracy. Our warehouse management software optimizes pick routes for common items and order types, recommends a box size, and calculates the appropriate amount of packaging and ice required based on forecasted temperatures along the delivery route.
We have built a team consisting of passionate, committed, and food-obsessed people: our average tenure (outside of seasonal workers) across the company is over five years. Our merchandising team has deep connections within the specialty food space around the globe. Our photography and marketing teams have developed a look and feel all our own. Our Chef Advisors, as ex-chefs themselves, go beyond customer service to offer our Professional Chefs customer support, menu ideas, and preparation guidance.