How the Swiatkowski family grows Ohio Hickory Harvest via expansion Featured

8:44pm EDT September 25, 2013
Darlene Swiatkowski Darlene Swiatkowski
Joseph Swiatkowski Joseph Swiatkowski

Cascade Capital Awards 2013 -- Manufacturing -- Employee Growth winner

Ohio Hickory Harvest Brand Products Inc.
Darlene Swiatkowski and Joseph Swiatkowski

 The improvements, changes and innovations at Ohio Hickory Harvest over the past several years read like, well, a “soup to nuts” list.

Not only has the wholesale distributor of dried fruits and vegetables, nuts, trail mixes and confections expanded by acquiring I.M. Good Snacks, it’s built a new 30,000-square-foot facility in Akron — and has already added an additional 17,000 square feet. A new nut roaster, bringing the total to three, was included in the expansion, along with two new form fill and seal packing machines and an automated tub packaging line.

Over the last two years, the company has added 10 new items to the products list, as well as more flavorings and blends of nuts.

To top it all off, Ohio Hickory Harvest formed a new LLC company in 2012 and became majority owners of a Columbus-based chocolate and yogurt pretzel company, American Confections.

CEO Darlene Swiatkowski explains how significant that move was.

“We are now manufacturing and producing the best line of chocolate, yogurt, peanut butter, blueberry, raspberry and holiday-coated pretzels you’ve ever eaten,” she says. “And we’ve just begun.”

To help manage the growth, Ohio Hickory Harvest has increased its personnel by 175 percent since 2008.

Owned by the Swiatkowski family (Darlene’s son Joseph is president and son Mike is vice president of sales and marketing), the company has managed to maintain a family-friendly atmosphere — and every item that leaves the company represents the staff, the family’s ancestors and the future successors. ● 

How to reach: Ohio Hickory Harvest Brand Products Inc., (800) 448 6887 or