Snacking on success

Darlene Swaitkowski, CEO, Ohio Hickory Harvest Brand Products Inc.

Manufacturing, Sales Growth

From the beginning, Ohio Hickory Harvest Brands Products Inc. has wanted to be recognized by its customers as the “good snack people,” a company that offers healthy as well as great-tasting snacks. Today, the snack-food company pledges to search the globe, from around the corner to around the world, in its efforts to obtain the finest natural ingredients available so that it can keep providing these quality products for its customers.

Ohio Hickory Harvest Brand Products Inc., which does business as Hickory Harvest Foods, was incorporated in 1972. The company, led by CEO Darlene Swaitkowski, started as a small mail-order business selling smoked beef sausage and cheeses. Since its humble beginnings, Hickory Harvest Foods has branched out significantly, from selling to pizza shops to supplying products such as dried fruits, nuts and candies. It wasn’t long before the company began selling bulk grocery items to local stores.

In 2005, the company purchased I.M. Good Snacks, allowing it to now roast its own nuts and produce a variety of fruit and nut mixes, offering them in various sized bags and tubs. In recent years, Hickory Harvest has grown so much that it has outgrown two facilities. So in 2009, the company built a brand-new facility, which helped steer it to increase sales. Those increased numbers are also the result of two, new, state-of-the-art packaging machines purchased in 2011 and 2012. Along with these updates to existing equipment, Hickory Harvest saw sales increase by 60 percent. These changes within the company have allowed Hickory Harvest to provide private brands for national and regional retailers and distributors.

In the meantime, the uptick in work has forced the company to double its workforce, making its current somewhat cramped. Plans already in the works for 2013 are include possible building expansions and additions of machinery, which will help Swaitkowski continue to grow Hickory Harvest.

How to Reach: Ohio Hickory Harvest Brand Products Inc., (330) 644-6266 or www.hickoryharvest.com

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