It’s been something of a mysterious rise for Dora’s Naturals, Inc. a rising power in the New York distribution market, but the company and its leadership pulled back the curtain a bit this week, announcing publicly in advance of Expo East that it was investing in high pressure processing (HPP) capacity.
The company, a leading supplier of milk and other dairy products, also carries entrepreneurial beverage and food brands into Manhattan and environs. Earlier this summer, Dora’s CEO Cyrus Schwartz and business development chief Chris Psuik, an Odwalla veteran, sat for an interview with BevNET to discuss it’s growth, secrecy, and interest in adding brands.
“One of the reasons I don’t give too many interviews is because we don’t want to lose our competitive edge,” Schwartz gave as a reason for much of his recalcitrance over the years. “We have a complicated business model and we don’t want to discuss strategy too much – but we play in a lot of different categories, we’re a manufacturer, a distributor, we do things for retailers where we are building and manufacturing for them – so we’re different from any other distributor in the market.”
The move to acquire HPP machines comes as the company has grown 40 percent in each of the past two years, according to Schwartz. It has blazed the trail to increased distribution presence via its refrigerated truck fleet, which began working with entrepreneurial brands a few years ago.
“I don’t know that every brand we’ve signed up is going to be a big success,” Schwartz said. “But as we grow our organization, we have more management, more merchandisers, and provided they have a good point of differentiation, a good strategy, we might add another half-dozen brands in the next year.”
More manufacturing capacity will follow the first machine, according to Psuik.
Dora’s has emerged via the cold channel to become a shop for many emerging brands in the New York area. It handles established brands like GT’s Kombucha, Blueprint, Harmless Harvest, Odwalla and Guayaki, as well as newer enterprises like Chameleon Cold Brew and Titan Tea.
The company has become something of a fixture at natural products shows, and has also begun investing in some brands, like Watermelon Water.
While money might be going into capacity and brands, according to Schwartz, money isn’t necessarily the key to success for entrepreneurial beverage companies. He said communication between the brand, the distributor, and the retailer are what helps suppliers succeed.
Some well-focused brands “didn’t have focus and momentum and burned through the money and went out of business,” he said. “If you have a focused brand and growth, you can figure out how to fund it.”
Here’s the announcement from Dora’s:
Dora’s Naturals, Inc., a leading food, beverage and third-party logistics company in the Northeastern U.S., has entered into an agreement to acquire its first High Pressure Processing (HPP) machine from Hiperbaric S.A.
Dora’s will begin processing for select partners in early January, 2015 and plans to expand its processing capabilities later that same year. Dora’s will also continue to expand partnerships with existing brands by offering High Pressure Processing and perishable distribution under one roof.
Founded in 1998, Dora’s Naturals is a privately held natural, organic and specialty food and beverage distributor based in South Hackensack, New Jersey. The company’s mission is to provide the highest quality, perishable and non-perishable foods and beverages to retailers in the Northeastern United States. Dora’s operates a 77,000 sq. ft. warehouse in South Hackensack, NJ, which is located 10 mi. from NYC and 5 mi. from Routes 80 and 95.
For information on becoming a Dora’s valued partner, please contact Chris Psuik, Vice President, Business Development at ChrisP@dorasnaturals.com.