Between COVID and a new U.S. President, the immigration landscape between the U.S. and Canada has experienced both victories and challenges. Some of the major changes and roadblocks that have occurred over the past three months include:
Niagara Food Specialties (NFS), incorporated in 2001, is a food processor, distributor and wholesaler, specializing in the production of prosciutto ham for the foodservice (restaurants & hotels) industry and gourmet retail markets. NFS adds value to raw pork, producing artisanal quality charcuterie, including prosciutto, capicola, pancetta, salami, guanciale, and sausage. This family operated business is currently headquartered in Niagara Falls, ON. NFS began to investigate US expansion when they faced with growth limitations due to border crossing restrictions and rules on imported meats to the US.
Canadian-headquartered Pride Pak processes fresh vegetables, making ready-made salads in a bag and chopped vegetables. The company also sources raw vegetables from both the US and Canada. Pride Pak was started in 1984 and has their main office in Mississauga with another facility in New Foundland. They currently employ over 200 people and sell to grocery retailers and into the restaurant industry.
There are a number of differences in human resource policies between the U.S. and Canada, making it important for Canadian businesses owners considering a U.S. expansion to fully understand regulations. Policies and procedures that focus on employees and comply with Federal and State Labor laws are imperative.
Alan Rosenhoch, Invest Buffalo Niagara Business Development Manager with Jim Anastasiadis, John Petri and Bill McCormick of Magic White.
Sometimes it’s as simple as finding the right place to start or someone to show you where that starting line even is located. That was the case with Magic White Inc., a company I met last spring at the Restaurants Canada trade show in Toronto. In just a couple short months, a brief conversation with company president Jim Anastasiadis on the trade show floor culminated with the establishment of Magic White USA, Magic White’s first formal U.S. presence here in the Buffalo Niagara region.
When I talk about manufacturing in the Buffalo Niagara region, most people typically think of metal based products –especially when I tell them I’m working with a nut manufacturer. But Trophy Foods is not your average nut. Instead of hex nuts, flange nuts, and weld nuts, they value-add process almonds, pecans, cashews, peanuts, and more used for snacking and baking.
In January of 2014, I started to work with Trophy Foods Inc. as they considered a U.S. expansion. The company was outgrowing their Canadian facility and was considering locations in both New York and Michigan. BNE had the pleasure of working with Brian Paul, COO to provide the necessary data and guidance to ensure their expansion took place in Buffalo Niagara. The facility, named Redland Foods Corp., is now located in Cheektowaga, NY.
Redland Foods Inc. is one of the leading suppliers of high quality and innovative flavoured edible nuts, dried foods and confectionery products for both their name brand and many private labels. The facility has two roasting lines and a toffee line. They are equipped to handle an endless variety of packaging options in an array of sizes and formats. All products are either nitrogen flushed or thermal sealed for added freshness and food safety.
I recently visited Brian at the new U.S. facility to see firsthand the success they are experiencing nearly two years later. Redland Foods made major investments in the transformation of the facility and purchased critical processing and packaging equipment to meet their demand, as well as FDA regulations.
Close proximity to their Canadian headquarters, a strong workforce and the low cost of doing business in the Buffalo Niagara region has provided Redlands a successful start.
If you would like to enjoy Redland Foods product, stop by Aldi’s and try their sliced almonds!
I travel to Canada a few times each month as I work to help Canadian companies expand their business into the U.S. This November, I’m heading to Montreal to meet with companies through AmCham Quebec for a program focusing on business opportunities in the State of New York for Quebec companies; the following week I’ll be engaging companies at Select USA in Toronto; and finally on November 23rd I’ll participate in the Ontario Export Awards in Mississauga. With all this travel, waiting bumper to bumper to cross the border is not the best use of time- and that’s why I have the NEXUS pass. NEXUS program is designed to expedite the border clearance process for low-risk, pre-approved travelers into Canada and the United States.