The trend towards healthier eating has impacted the manner in which restaurants and foodservice operators source their ingredients. With the pressure mounting from their restaurant and foodservice customer base, many Metro New York distributors have scrambled to either add or expand their organic and natural offerings. For Ace Natural, there was no need to panic or react to a changing marketplace demand.
Ace Natural has in fact taken the exact opposite approach to many of their competitors. “We began as an organic and natural based firm and then we grew into a broadliner,” Alberto Gonzalez, Chief Operating Officer explained.
For some 20 plus years, the Long Island City based food and beverage distributor has offered the Metro New York marketplace’s most comprehensive selection of organic and natural foods. “This business is about providing real solutions to restaurants and commercial kitchens in the Tri-State area,” Gonzalez continued.
“What makes us different is that we really understand organics,” stated Gonzalez. “And we really understand clean, sustainable, local produce, perhaps better than any other distributor.”
“Restaurants call us, and we really know all there is to know about organic ingredients. We’re very strong in providing consultation and information about organic and natural products.” I think we are unusual in the sense that nobody has more selection of organic ingredients than we do. We also have a fresh produce division and we only carry certified organic crops,” he explained.
And Ace Natural keeps up with all the trends. “We are very, very strong on gluten-free items,” Gonzalez said proudly. “We were actually in the forefront of the gluten-free movement. This is why we are so aligned with Bob’s Red Mill. So we do understand those products very well.”
Farm to table has been a way of life for Ace Natural from the very beginning. “We work with NY, NJ, and PA farmers to offer the best selection of locally grown produce in the area.”
As the juice craze swept through Metro New York, many operators have turned to Ace Natural. “Since we’ve been in the business for 20 years, we understand the difference between grab and go, corporate dining and juice-bar specific products.”
And if your restaurant caters to vegans Ace Natural is there for you too. “We’re the vegan authority in New York. That’s where nobody can match our variety, because we’ve been servicing the vegan restaurants for 20 years,” he asserted. “Actually, we grew up by servicing vegan restaurants in New York. Most of our vegan customers have been with us for as long as they have existed.”
Ace Natural has continually been committed to raising the bar in terms of food safety. The firm’s high standards include a GMP program with HACCP in which food safety is addressed throughout the entire value chain. The quality and integrity is assured from production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product. “We are also certified organic, therefore these ingredients that we carry are absolutely free of synthetic hormones, antibiotics, chemicals and GMOs,” he added.
Ace Natural shares the commitment to a clean environment that has been adopted by so many of its customers. “We also make sure that everything we do has minimal impact on the environment,” Gonzalez continued. “Ninety percent of our trucks are hybrid electric. When the traffic light goes red, the engines shut off. And we use only biodiesel for the entire fleet.”
In addition, Ace Natural recently invested close to half a million dollars to produce 60% of the energy it uses itself, through solar panels. The rest? “We buy it from renewable sources,” Gonzalez noted.
The iconic distributor has also realized that its ability to meet the needs of its customers everyday is only as strong as how it cares for its own employee base. The company gives back 12.5% of its profits to workers. “We share our profits with our people,” he said.
In this age of specialization, Ace Natural gives the local food service operators the flexibility to meet the needs of an ever changing customer base who cares about organics and sustainability.
For more information on Ace Natural and what they can bring to your food service business, visit their website.