Thomas McQuillan, Director of Food Service Sales and Sustainability, Baldor Specialty Foods, Inc.

Baldor Specialty Foods Thomas McQuillanTotal Food Service caught up with Thomas McQuillan, Director of Food Service Sales and Sustainability, Baldor Specialty Foods, Inc. to ask about Baldor’s network of local farms and company wide sustainability efforts.

As a regional distributor, tell us a little bit about how Baldor has been able to set up these local networks of farms for each of your restaurant and foodservice customers. 

Baldor’s wide selection of fresh produce, meats, dairy, organics and other fine products are available for quick delivery directly to your restaurant.   Every day 300 trucks move product from our location in New York City, to our customers from Albany to Eastern Pennsylvania.

From our D.C branch we cover the Mid-Atlantic from Philadelphia south to Richmond, and from our Boston branch, we serve New England from Hartford up to Portland Maine. With a delivery footprint that covers such a broad range, as we pass through a lot of local farms along the way. So we’ve been able to partner with a number of local farms and we bring their products back to our headquarters from their location and then we redistribute out as this part of our regular delivery mechanism.

You guys have really made a buzz over the year with your ability to use absolutely every morsel that you process. So how and when did that initiative come from you? How did you set about to accomplishing this?

Baldor is a 75 percent produce distribution, 25 percent specialty food. Within this produce distribution, we own a company called Fresh Cut. It processes a million pounds of produce a week, generating about 150,000 pounds of surplus food. Our previous process for extra food was to discard it. So our president challenged me to find another alternative. So I started thinking of other solutions that could have been much closer to build, or that would have less impact on the environment. One of the other things we did was to dehydrate a bunch of different products and we created dried vegetable blends, which then could be reconstituted in a number of recipes. And that’s garnered a lot of attention. In fact, we refer to the product as “sparks”.

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Does Baldor offer our readers, guidance on how to create their own “no-waste” program?

Of course they can just call or email us. But what we’ve done is make it fun. You can go to our instagram page and get inspired. In fact, I just posted a couple of pies that we made completely with our “sparks”.

To learn more about Baldor, visit their website.