WAUKEGAN, Illinois - (Jan. 6, 2020) —–Woodland Foods celebrates its 30th year as a leading supplier of over 1,600 unique ingredients from around the world.
“2020 marks an important milestone in the history of our company,” said Woodland Foods President Aram Karapetian. “We can reflect on the efforts that have brought us to where we are today while celebrating the continued opportunity ahead.
Over the last three decades, Woodland Foods has experienced an incredible trajectory of growth in sales, personnel and resources. What began as a family business supplying rare mushrooms quickly grew into a 250-person strong workforce operating in over 450,000 square feet of manufacturing, warehouse and office space across three facilities.
“This growth is far beyond anything we could have envisioned back in 1990,” said Woodland Foods founder David Moore, “Diana and I are proud of the fact that we remain a family business and that several of our original employees are still with us today.”
In 2019, Woodland Foods was awarded an AA rating for food safety from the Brand Reputation Compliance Global Standards (BRCGS) audit, a leading global food safety and quality program used by certificated suppliers in over 100 countries. Additional merits include a Spirit of Innovation Award from Prepared Foods Magazine in 2014, a Sofi award finalist from the Specialty Food Association in 2016, and a Sofi award winner from the Specialty Food Association in 2017.
“With our family of brands and extensive array of convenient services, we continue to evolve in order to meet the changing needs of manufacturing, foodservice, and retail customers,” said Karapetian. “We look forward to reaching new levels of success by providing our customers with authentic products that have unique value, unrivaled variety, and convenience; all three coupled with an array of services aimed at exceeding their expectations.
Woodland Foods plans to kick off the year-long anniversary celebration at its upcoming company town hall on January 31st. Events for employees, along with customer recognition and a retrospective look at the company’s growth, are planned throughout the year.
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WOODLAND FOODS is the premier importer and supplier of more than 1,600 specialty
natural ingredients. WOODLAND FOODS specializes in product innovation and providing unique food choices through global sourcing, custom blending, custom processing, variety, and convenience. For more information, please call 847-505-7800, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.woodlandfoods.com
New York, NY (April 2020) – Purpose-driven African Food Company Yolélé is thrilled to announce the
Whole Foods Market national launch of its first product, the ancient West African grain, fonio .
Prized across Africa for over 5,000 years, fonio is a gluten-free, nutritional powerhouse with a low
glycemic index. It cooks just like couscous or a hot cereal in only five minutes. Delicious and versatile,
fonio is light and just a bit nutty. It can be used as a quick-cooking base for a medley of roasted
vegetables and greens, roasted chicken and seafood. The ancient grain is filled with micronutrients and
antioxidant flavonoids, and it is high in iron, fiber, phosphorus, and potassium.
Known as “the seed of the universe,” fonio is a drought-tolerant grain that helps prevent erosion in the
poor soil of the arid Sahel region where it's grown using regenerative practices. Its increased cultivation
has the potential to re-green a region suffering from desertification and climate change.
Until this time, fonio has been available at a selection of independent and chain retailers, including a
number of Whole Foods Markets in the Northeast, and nationally through online retailers. Now, Yolélé
Fonio will be found on Whole Foods shelves across the country. The product will also be available to
order online for in-store pick-up or delivery through Whole Foods on Amazon.
“It’s been a dream to launch nationally through Whole Foods. We created Yolélé three years ago to
share the delicious foods of West Africa I grew up eating. Our first retail location was at the then brand
new Whole Foods location in Harlem,” says co-founder and Senegalese-born chef Pierre Thiam. “With
the uncertainty and fears surrounding the fate of small businesses, we are grateful that Whole Foods
Market has pressed on with our small company’s national launch at this difficult time. At [my restaurant
in Harlem] Teranga, we’re trying to keep afloat by serving our community of eaters and healthcare
workers. At Yolélé, we intend to support and inspire all of you at home cooking, now and going
Also in May, Yolélé is debuting their new line of Fonio Pilafs blends to the Northeast and North Atlantic
regions of Whole Foods Market. Each of the five blends is inspired by the traditional ingredients and
flavors of West African cuisine.
Yolélé co-founders, Philip Teverow and Pierre Thiam, have a purpose-driven model that goes beyond
delicious food to investing in thousands of rural West African smallholder farmers to sustainably source
fonio and promote regenerative farming practices. They have partnered with NGOs on the ground in
the Sahel region to establish a sustainable growth model for the tiny, ancient grain.
Each 10 oz bag (6 servings) of Plain Fonio has a suggested retail of $5.99 and is gluten-free,
nutrient-dense, and incredibly versatile. Yolélé can be found in the grains aisle at Whole Foods Market
For more information visit Yolélé and follow them on Instagram .
Yolélé was created to share delicious, vibrant West African ingredients with the world, beginning with
fonio. Yolélé was co-founded by Phil Teverow, industry veteran, and Pierre Thiam, chef, cookbook
author, global ambassador for African cuisine and culture, and longtime advocate for sustainability and
biodiversity. Yolélé’s purpose is to create economic opportunity for smallholder farming communities; to
promote biodiverse, regenerative farming systems; and to introduce Africa's ingredients to tables
around the world. Yolélé has partnered with trusted ingredient supplier Woodland Foods to bring this
vision to life.
Explore the Flavors and Foods of West Africa
NEW YORK (APRIL 2020) – Yolélé , producer of the West African ancient grain fonio, is thrilled
to announce the launch of a new line of Fonio Pilaf blends, ideal for exploring the captivating
flavors of West Africa, as well as a gluten free Fonio Flour.
As COVID-19 has forced us to spend more time in our home kitchens, Yolélé’s Fonio Pilaf
blends offer an opportunity to explore new ingredients and push culinary boundaries. Inspired
by the flavors of popular West African dishes and available in six varieties – Jollof, Yassa!, Suya
Spice, Dakar Curry, Afro-Funk, and Greens! – each carries the ample health properties of pure
fonio, introduces West African cuisine to home cooks, and is ready in five minutes.
Each flavor of Yolélé’s Fonio Pilafs are rooted in West African culture and cuisine. Jollof,
arguably the most recognized dish of the region, is a rich, savory one-pot rice dish made with
tomato, bell pepper, and onion . Jollof Fonio Pilaf complements saucy braised meat, beans, or
hearty greens. Earthy, bright, and spicy, Yassa! is inspired by one of Senegal’s most popular
dishes. Made with caramelized onions, lime, and chili pepper, it lends itself to grilled chicken,
grilled fish, or sautéed vegetable dishes. Suya Spice is an ode to the rich, roasted, and spiced
flavors of grilled skewers sold by West African city’s street vendors and pairs perfectly with
grilled meats, stewed beans, or greens. Influenced by the multicultural crossroads of Senegal’s
capital, Dakar Curry is punctuated with sweet currants and is ideal for stir-fries, ratatouille, or
lentils. For those who love fermented foods, Afro-Funk delivers a nutrient-dense, probiotic, and
umami flavor-bomb that is perfect for stir-fries, kebabs, and stuffing for mushrooms or peppers.
Its primary ingredient is dawadawa, a fermented locust bean, found in the pod of a
drought-resistant tree. Greens! is packed with the rich amino acids and vitamins of moringa,
which boasts double the protein, iron, calcium, and fiber of kale. The bright, savory blend of
moringa, spinach, leek, and parsley go with anything from grilled fish or chicken, a pot of beans,
or a veggie burger.
Yolélé is also introducing a gluten free Fonio Flour available exclusively to the foodservice and
industrial industries for the time being. T his fine-milled flour possesses the same unique health
benefits and sustainability of the fonio grain. With a light, slightly nutty quality and neutral flavor,
fonio flour can be used as a key ingredient in anything from breads and cakes to cookies and
pastas, as breading or thickener in gravies and more. Fonio flour is an ideal one ingredient flour
for professional chefs to use in a variety of baking and cooking scenarios.
“Our new Fonio Pilafs take another step forward in introducing West Africa’s oldest cereal grain
to tables around the world,” says Chef Pierre Thiam, co-founder of Yolélé . “They make it easy
for anyone to serve the exciting flavors I grew up eating, with delicious and nutritious fonio as
the quick-cooking base. And of course, every purchase helps to alleviate poverty and create
stronger food systems in Africa.”
Yolélé co-founders, Philip Teverow and Pierre Thiam, have a purpose-driven model that goes
beyond delicious food to investing in thousands of rural West African smallholder farmers. They
have partnered with NGO’s on the ground in the Sahel region to establish a sustainable growth
model for the tiny, ancient grain that has been cultivated in West Africa for more than 5,000
years . Experts celebrate fonio as a climate-smart crop that thrives even in poor soil with little
water, and Yolélé recognizes its untapped potential to re-green a region suffering from
desertification and climate change.
While fonio has been on the market since 2017, Yolélé’s Fonio Pilafs will be on shelves at
retailers including Whole Foods Markets nationally in May. Their release coincides with new
branding, which celebrates Yolélé’s African roots and highlights the region where fonio is
For more information visit Yolélé and follow them on Instagram .
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Yolélé was created to share delicious, vibrant West African ingredients with the world,
beginning with fonio. Yolélé was co-founded by Phil Teverow, industry veteran, and Pierre
Thiam, chef, cookbook author, global ambassador for African cuisine and culture, and longtime
advocate for sustainability and biodiversity. Yolélé’s purpose is to create economic opportunity
for smallholder farming communities; to promote biodiverse, regenerative farming systems; and
to introduce Africa's ingredients to tables around the world. Yolélé has partnered with trusted
ingredient suppliers Woodland Foods to help bring their vision to life.
Sr. Marketing Manager at Agri-Neo
Woodland Foods and Agri-Neo Announce Joint Marketing Campaign
Woodland Foods will use the Neo-Pure Trustmark to demonstrate their continued commitment to providing products with the highest food safety and quality standards
Waukegan, March 5, 2020 – Food safety technology company Agri-Neo and Woodland Foods, a premier importer and supplier of specialty ingredients, announced the launch of a joint marketing campaign on food safety. The Neo-Pure Trustmark is a specially designed logo applied on Neo-Pure pasteurized product. It will highlight the leadership and ongoing dedication Woodland Foods brings to food safety and quality.
“At Woodland Foods, we are committed to excellence in food safety, quality, and sourcing, by providing our customers with authentic products that have unique value, unrivaled variety, and convenience.” said Robert Linder, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Woodland Foods. “The Neo-Pure Trustmark on our product packaging will demonstrate to our customers that we are exceeding their expectations by utilizing best-in-class pasteurization technology.”
“Neo-Pure is the only organic, non-thermal pasteurization that can provide a validated kill step of pathogens without compromising food quality,” said Matthew You, Sr. Marketing Manager at Agri-Neo. “Neo-Pure has been a key differentiator for our partners, and we wanted to create a Trustmark that would deliver another value-add for their brands.”
The Neo-Pure pasteurization process eliminates pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria. Since it does not use steam, chemical gas or irradiation, it preserves the natural taste, smell, texture and nutrition of the food. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Health Canada have approved Neo-Pure as a processing aid, so labeling is not required. It is certified organic to the standards of the U.S. National Organic Program and Canada Organic Regime. It also meets Kosher and Halal guidelines.
The Agri-Neo mission is to help safely feed the world by creating technology that sets new food safety standards. Neo-Pure from Agri-Neo maintains the nutrition that flourishes naturally in nuts, seeds and grains, and supports the health and well-being of people who eat it. Since 2009, Agri-Neo has invested significant resources in research and development with a dedicated team of food scientists, researchers and engineers. For more information, visit www.agri-neo.com.
About Woodland Foods
Woodland Foods is the premier importer and supplier of more than 1,600 specialty natural ingredients. Woodland Foods specializes in product innovation and providing unique food choices through global sourcing, custom processing, and convenience. For more information, please call 847-505-7800, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.woodlandfoods.com.
WAUKEGAN, Illinois - (March 5, 2020) —Woodland Foods, premier importer and supplier of over 1,600 specialty dried ingredients, announced today that it has achieved an outstanding Brand Reputation Compliance Global Standard (BRCGS) audit grade for food safety in a recent audit, attaining a Grade AA.
The BRCGS audit is a leading global food safety and quality program used by certified suppliers in over 100 countries. It is a standard under the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), which benchmarks food safety standards for facilities and operations. According to the BRCGS, Grade AA is the highest grade possible for a scheduled audit, awarded if five or fewer non-conformances are cited out of 256 total audit items.
“Every Woodland Foods employee should be proud of this accomplishment,” said Paul Nagy, Vice President of Supply Chain. “Achieving the BRCGS’s highest audit rating across all of our operations demonstrates Woodland Foods’ culture of teamwork and our commitment to keeping food safety and quality as our highest priority.”
The outstanding audit grade comes on the heels of Woodland Foods’ recent expansion into a third facility at its headquarters in Northern Illinois. In total, Woodland Foods now operates in more than 450,000 square feet of manufacturing, warehouse and office space. The additional facility also houses Neo-Pure, a cutting-edge non-thermal sterilization system, and a recently-installed super-fine mesh pulverizer. The expansion and additional processing equipment highlight the company’s commitment to delivering clean, high-quality ingredients and an unparalleled variety of services.
“Our commitment to excellence in food safety, quality, and sourcing is at the cornerstone of the value, variety, and convenience we provide our customers,” said Aram Karapetian, President of Woodland Foods. “Our recent AA BRCGS rating confirms that we operate our facilities to conform to the most stringent quality and safety standards in the world and reflects our dedication to continuous improvement, further differentiating us in the marketplace as a trusted specialty ingredient provider.”
ABOUT WOODLAND FOODS Woodland Foods is the premier importer and supplier of more than 1,600 specialty natural ingredients. Woodland Foods specializes in product innovation and providing unique food choices through global sourcing, custom processing, and convenience. For more information, please call 847-505-7800, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.woodlandfoods.com.