BUSINESS FIRST - October 25, 017 - FAST 50 AWARDS
Fast 50 #3
$25M to $100M REVENUE CATEGORY WINNER
BLENDEX COMPANY Growth: 273.7%
Ronald Pottinger, CEO of Blendex Company, poses for a portrait in his warehouse.
By By Sam Smith
Oct 25, 2017, 1:00pm
Over the years, the food industry has seen ebbs and flows impacted by the economy, climate and lifestyles among other factors, said Blendex Co. CEO Ronald Pottinger.
“Our ability to change with these factors has led me to a competitive advantage,” he said. “Coupled with the economic rebound in the last few years, we are experiencing exciting new growth.” That growth led Blendex Co. to again earn a place on Business First’s Fast 50 list, ranking No. 3 overall — with 274 percent growth overall — and winning the $25 million to $100 million revenue category.
A custom blender of food products across the board, Blendex makes batters, seasonings, marinades, cocktail mixes and more. Blendex is an outgrowth of a company founded by Pottinger’s father Gene in 1979, when it supplied frying equipment to Kentucky Fried Chicken. The younger Pottinger has spent more than three decades filling his role in the family business.
His father envisioned a company that would put customers first, providing a quality product and a keen sense of integrity, and Pottinger considers these core business tenets a key part of Blendex’s recipe for success.
Located in 100,000 square feet of climate-controlled space at Jeffersontown’s Bluegrass Commerce Park, Blendex has 11 blenders that can hold up to 4,000 pounds of dry goods each. It has 12 distribution warehouses located across the country.
The company employs about 80 people and those workers pride themselves on filling orders from 4-ounce packs to 44,000-pound tankers. At the forefront of advanced food safety practices, Blendex has been recognized as a Top 500 privately held business by DiversityBusiness.com, and the company met the “gold standard” for international food safety with an “A” ranking from the Global Food Safety Initiative.
Pottinger said Blendex’s biggest accomplishment in the past year is the company’s continual efforts to adapt to the needs of an ever-growing industry.
“The Food Safety Modernization Act gave the Food and Drug Administration more authority to regulate how food is processed,” he said. “However, it places costly burdens on food processors and many of our competitors.”
By upgrading processes and systems and increasing the support staff, Pottinger said Blendex ensures consistent maintenance of levels for safety, quality, consistency and the value for which the company is known.
“Our customers, both old and new, appreciate this,” Pottinger said.
Blendex offers a capacity to serve the individual, food wholesalers and nutritional supplements providers among others.
“The growth in our sales base has meant proportionate growth in the number of employees,” Pottinger said. “We are hiring several every month.”
While Blendex hasn’t expanded its facility over the last few years, Pottinger said there are plans “on the board” to do so in the future, and the company’s product mix is constantly changing due to customer demand.
As for what to anticipate through next year, Pottinger looks forward to continuing Blendex’s practice of being a top-notch company.
“We will continue our rate of growth by remaining true to our core values, watching our numbers, executing and evaluating our business strategies and only hiring people who are honest and have integrity,” he said.