To commemorate its 50th anniversary, Lipari Foods' customers, vendors and employees will be the benefactors of its special celebratory plans throughout 2013.
“Over the past 50 years we’ve achieved our goal of becoming a leader in food distribution, servicing the perimeter of the store throughout the Midwest,” said Thom Lipari, president/CEO of the Warren, Mich.-based company. Today, with more than 900 employees, Lipari Foods has 28 regional depots that offer a wide range of bakery, dairy, deli, packaging, seafood, grocery, confectionery, and grab & go products to over 8,000 customers in 12 states.
Company founder Jim Lipari, who started out as a meat cutter and operator of a full-line grocery store, also co-created Bazzo’s barbecue sauce, which formed the basis of Lipari Foods Distributors in 1963.
In 1971, Jim Lipari’s son, Thom, joined the company. With the purchase of a second building came two walk-in coolers. Soon the addition of cheese, ham, and salami started Lipari Foods in the deli business. In 1983 Thom Lipari had an innovative idea, and Lipari became the first company in southeastern Michigan to market in-store frozen dough to bakeries and independent grocers.
Lipari Foods has followed several growth strategies simultaneously: acquire distribution businesses, partner with wholesale warehouses, and expand into new categories. In 2006 Lipari Foods built its current facility to customize space and technology, and accommodate anticipated needs.
During 2011 and 2012, the company made three more acquisitions that strengthened its offerings with new capabilities, via the purchase of I&K Distributors, which brought a full dairy program on board, and Eastside Deli Supply and Pic-A-Nut, which boosted its portfolio in the convenience store channel.
Back in 1981, Lipari Foods hosted its first-ever deli and specialty trade show in the metro Detroit area. Flash-forward to 2013, which will find the April 24 event set to take place at Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Mich., transformed into a gala masquerade ball for its 50th anniversary. “This will be a big party,” explains Thom Lipari, “with a dedicated section showcasing memorabilia, an anniversary video and company timeline. I would like to thank all our valued and dedicated employees, customers, vendors and consumers who have helped us reach 50 years of success.”