When food is the focus, it’s safe to say that nearly anything can be accomplished. This is only one of the lessons I took away when I sat down with John Bevis, President at Tomato Head Foods, the retail/commissary arm of a Tennessee-based restaurant that continues to expand its products into retail.
The Tomato Head was founded in 1990 by Mahasti Vafaie, who wished to follow her passion for cooking and creating recipes. A far cry from her engineering background, the initial launch of a pizza and sandwich shop turned into a full-blown restaurant with two locations, a bakery, and a commissary/production facility. Mashati’s flavors wooed diners and are now wooing grocery shoppers, too.
“Starting with just our Original Hummus flavor in local and regional grocery stores, we have now grown our line to five hummus flavors, two pesto flavors, and four salad dressings that can be found throughout the Southeast, Lousianna, Texas, Colorado, and more,” John shared with me. “We have taken a very grassroots approach by taking advantage of our reputation in the region, and are now trying to introduce the rest of the country to that outstanding reputation.”
Food is at the heart of The Tomato Head, as each product receives the utmost love and care. Each recipe is created using all-natural, fresh ingredients—which equals great tasting products—and are made to order to ensure that top-notch flavor lasts.
And as The Tomato Head continues to expand, it utilizes specific strategies to keep its brand and products top of mind.
“In addition to trade shows like the Fancy Food Shows and IDDBA, we’re working hard on the indie sector,” John remarked. “We feel they fit our profile of independently-minded entrepreneurs wanting to be at the forefront of unique, high-quality products.”
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