Case Studies Region: Midwest

Bowen Kou – Fresh International Market

Est. reading time: 4 mins

Bowen Kou knows what it means to have nothing except unlimited potential and a burning desire to succeed. He came to the U.S. from China at age 19 and, in 2009, began his undergraduate studies in supply chain management at Michigan State University. He noticed a lot of students struggling to purchase new textbooks, which […]

Reicks View Farms – Brady Reicks and Kaylie Reicks

Est. reading time: 4 mins

When Kaylie Reicks talks about needing internet connections in the barns at Reicks View Farms, it’s not so the pigs she and her older brother, Brady Reicks, are raising can stream entertainment. The internet in the barns and a new communication system are essential modern touches enabling farm employees to better communicate and share data […]

Angie Barber – Cabin Coffee

Est. reading time: 4 mins

In 2002, Angie Barber and her husband were at a crossroads. They were being asked to relocate from Clear Lake, Iowa, for their corporate jobs. They weren’t ready to upheave their lives, not with their 5-year-old daughter about to start school and their son about to go off to college. “We wanted him to have […]

Derek Krosschell – Chandler Feed

Est. reading time: 5 mins

On an average-sized farm, a dairy cow can consume up to 120 pounds of feed per day, which allows it to produce up to 80 pounds of milk. Most farms in the Midwest have at least 50 cows, though Derek Krosschell says farms with 1,000 to as many as 5,000 cows are becoming more common […]

John Colapinto – Garden-Fresh Foods

Est. reading time: 5 mins

John Colapinto is at a point in his life where his biggest concern could be his golf score. Indeed, the resident of south-central Pennsylvania enjoys chasing birdies as well as spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren. But there’s another family in Milwaukee that Colapinto cares deeply about. That’s the Hughes family, founders and […]

Brent Schwoerer – Engrained Brewing Co.

Est. reading time: 4 mins

Brent Schwoerer says it would take his growing operation in Springfield, Illinois, eight years to produce what Anheuser-Busch does in one batch. So be it. As far as he’s concerned, a greater honor would be his company’s designation as a Certified B Corp., a process that was well underway when Schwoerer spoke to Terra Firma […]

Brian Loffredo – Loffredo Fresh Foods

Est. reading time: 4 mins

Giuseppe Loffredo and his family had only been in the U.S. for a year when he founded the Loffredo Fruit and Tobacco Co. in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1892. He cultivated land to grow tomatoes and other vegetables he sold to hotels, restaurants and even U.S. Army soldiers stationed in the Midwest. It was a […]

Josh Beckett – Anna’s House

Est. reading time: 4 mins

Josh Beckett didn’t start off as the owner and chief executive officer of Anna’s House—he came in 2004 because he loved the food and the atmosphere. In 2005, a year after his first meal and not wanting the business to close, he purchased the business from Becky Miller, who was no longer interested in owning […]

Don Potvin – Incredible Pizza Franchise Group

Est. reading time: 5 mins

Things were looking good for Rick and Cheryl Barsness in March 2020. The couple was celebrating the success of their Incredible Pizza Co., founded in 2001, and the opening of a new restaurant in Shawnee, Kansas. As Don Potvin, who’s worked with the couple since 2004, notes, these are no ordinary pizza joints. They are […]

Denis Neville – CoreFX Ingredients

Est. reading time: 5 mins

On an otherwise quiet December Sunday in 2020, an errant spark amongst some wires and cables flared into an electrical fire that decimated CoreFX Ingredients’ headquarters in downtown Chicago—including the company’s Customer Innovation Center. Opened just three years earlier in 2017—just a little over a year after Denis Neville launched the food ingredients manufacturer—the 5,000-square-foot […]

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