Max H. Ries, a German immigrant who operated a textile firm in his native Munich, left Germany and intended to develop another textile firm in Chicago. When he arrived in the U.S., he believed he could make a greater impact importing foods and sharing the flavors and ingredients of the world with U.S. consumers.
Unheard of Delicacies
Max founded Reese Finer Foods along with its signature “Reese” brand of specialty products. He began importing delicacies such as Pâté de Fois Gras, Kangaroo Steak, Japanese Fried Butterflies, Chocolate Covered South American Ants, Canned Hornets and Fried Baby Bees.
Farming His Own
Max loved his imported delicacies but he knew there had to be more. He pushed the envelope once again and started farming and packing never before seen products like baby corn, mini watermelon and martini peppers, right on his farm!
Expanding Reese Finer Foods
By the 1950s Reese Finer Foods had seen so much success that Max began importing and distributing other companies' products. From his small shop at Randolph St. in Chicago he opened offices in Los Angeles and Paris.
Making TV History
Reese Finer Foods' president, Morris Kushner appeared on the Groucho Marx show to talk about delicacies like Roasted Caterpillars and Chocolate Covered Ants.
Reese Finer Foods is sold to Pet, Inc. of St. Louis. They started concentrating on more approachable global products. Reese was the first specialty brand to leave specialty shops and move exclusively into supermarkets.
Pet, Inc. was sold resulting in the sale of Reese Finer Foods and its allied brands such as DaVinci to a consortium of specialty food distributors. While the distributor group owned Reese Finer Foods, the owners continued to sell Reese through a national network of distributors, many of whom were not members of the consortium.
A Worldly Name
Reese Finer Foods changes its name to World Finer Foods (WFF). The name change reflected the company's expansion to marketing and selling third party brands from Europe and around the world, in addition to owned brands.
World Finer Foods, Inc. acquires InterNatural Foods, a company focused on organic and non-GMO specialty food products including Mount Hagen instant organic coffee and Rapunzel organic bouillons and baking products.
Strengthening Specialty Portfolio
World Finer Foods, Inc. acquires Liberty Richter, expanding its representation of 3rd party brands and enhancing its leadership position in specialty foods.
World Finer Foods, Inc. acquires Bri-Al and its premium owned and third party brand distribution partnerships.
Reese updates their look and style with new product packaging and a new website. The company also creates a presence on social media for the first time.
World Finer Foods refreshes its look with a new style for its master brand, Liberty Richter and American Marketing Team divisions. It also invests in capabilities for alternate channel sales including e-commerce, a new store locator and digital marketing.
WFF launches a world class Oracle ERP system with trade management, forecasting and demand planning capabilities, as well as adding many customers and warehouses to its integrated Electronic Data Interchange platform.In that same year WFF partners with IX-ONE for third party verified image and data capture of its portfolio of products.
Right Place, Right Time
WFF launches its leading edge, responsive-designed website to help its brands better engage with U.S. consumers and the trade.