Ben B. relies on transparency for success
With more than 117 years of providing excellent service, and led by owners Jake and Drew Billmeyer, who took over the reins from their father, Chris Billmeyer, Ben B. Schwartz & Sons remains a go-to company for produce by many.
Operating on the Michigan Produce Terminal in Detroit, and being the original produce house on the market, the company’s distribution network reaches most of the United States and parts of Canada, with a larger presence in Toronto in recent years.
“We service retailers, processors, and foodservice distributors across the eastern half of North America,” said Jordan Grainger, vice president of sales and business development for the company. “Our people have the willingness to get the job done to make sure we provide the service our customers expect.”
As a fourth-generation family-owned company, Ben B. knowns what it takes to be a success.
“We are very excited about the partnerships we have built and sustained over the years with premier growers,” Grainger said. “We believe our success lies within the quality of product we source for our customers. Being adaptable allows us to provide great quality to our customers year-round.”
The team at Ben B. is trusted and experienced, and that comes down to people knowing their roles and wearing multiple hats to ensure that the family-owned company is running the best it can at all times.
The company continues to expand its offerings of products into more and more cities.
Transparency is very important in any industry, especially produce, and that’s one of the things Ben B. prides itself on.
“Business has been strong this year,” Grainger said. “We continue to experience year over year growth. We have built a culture of people who are determined to get the job done and take care of the customers. It makes us very competitive with the other houses on the market.”
Summer is always an exciting time for Ben B., especially with the local Michigan product. “It’s very busy time of year for us and there’s a different dynamic of business in summer,” Grainger said. “We’re promoting more of the local Michigan-grown. We’re getting products same day it’s being harvested and shipping it out the same day or the following day. It’s a quick turnaround so it makes things a little faster.”
Working in Michigan has also been important to the company’s success, as it is able to reach many customers throughout North America. “Michigan is a very strong agricultural producing state” Grainger said. “Detroit has a strong independent retail presence that demands the newest and best varieties for their stores. This has driven us to become more innovative and adaptable to meet our customers’ expectations.”
Photo: Jake Billmeyer and Drew Billmeyer