October 10, 2013

Schlotterbeck & Foss growing in stealth mode

The Maine specialty foods maker succeeds by giving the spotlight to its customers.

By J. Craig Anderson canderson@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

click image to enlarge

Sam Mangino, a chef and sales representative for Schlotterbeck & Foss, makes roasted garlic chicken with a new cooking sauce while working in the pilot lab.

Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

Neither had been involved in food manufacturing before they bought the company, which was founded in 1866 and run by three generations of the Foss family.

Luckily, former owner Peter Foss spent two years helping the Diolis learn the business, Kathie Dioli said.

She says her husband decided to buy the company because he wanted to own his own business, and they both wanted to stay in Maine.

Paul Dioli says he initially planned to run the business himself, but before long he asked Kathie Dioli to join him as the company’s head of personnel.

“I got in over my head,” he said. “We grew too fast.”

Now the company is poised for growth and ready to manage it, the couple says. Schlotterbeck & Foss already has 53 employees and produces more than 200 distinct products.

Kathie Dioli says the decision to relocate to Westbrook came after an exhaustive process of looking around and meeting with officials from different cities.

Westbrook staff members went out of their way to learn about the Diolis’ needs and help them find the right location, she says.

“I can’t say enough about the team at Westbrook,” Kathie Dioli said.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 207-791-6390 or at:canderson@pressherald.com@JCraigAnderson

 

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