The Heritage Fare, Ltd. tag line “We take you back home” broadcasts the brand’s cultural identity and is a reminder of the southern style cooking tradition.
The Cleveland packager and distributor of specialty foods is positioned to compete in the exploding ethnic food segment, expanding its food line through traditional grocery retail markets and new, emerging channels of distribution throughout the United States.
Heritage Fare, an African-American and family-owned company, began in the early 1990’s when foods marketer Wendell E. Turner began to research emerging consumer purchasing habits and trends in foods. Turner discovered a gap — and an entrepreneurial opportunity. Missing were quality foods that offered good taste, convenience and ethnic appeal to African Americans.
A national foodservice distributor since 1981, Turner began the formulation of his first retail product — fresh packaged greens.
For his next formulation, Turner enlisted the help of his daughter, Deana Montgomery and assembled a team of family cooks, chefs, and packers to develop Heritage Fare Greens Seasoning; this effort was met with success. The company tested this flavorful seasoning in selected retail chains on Cleveland’s East Side as well as in Pittsburgh. Customer response was tremendous. Within a few months, the products were introduced in more than 100 Cleveland and Pittsburgh area retail stores.
Turner also realized that to be profitable he needed to control the process of manufacturing and distribution. So Turner, this time with the addition of his daughter, Denise Turner, focused his efforts on market research, new product formulations, packaging, distribution and promotion.
Through strategic product development and marketing, the company currently markets its 10 item product line under the Heritage Fare brand label.
In 1996, the family added spicy catfish and herb and spice fish coatings. That same year, they also introduced a sweet potato pie seasoning, a unique blend of rich, mouth watering flavors and spices that makes a delectable sweet potato pie. In 1998, Heritage Fare introduced its Chicken Wing Sauce and acquired Savory Soul Sauce, another African American and family-owned company whose barbecue sauce has been a popular item among Clevelanders since 1969. In late 1997, the introduction of a website opened up the company’s online store and international market presence.
Heritage Fare has expanded its distribution into the Wal-Mart stores in the Ohio market, Jewel-Ocso stores in the Chicago area and the southeastern market through an agreement with Kroger stores covering areas in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina.