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BiRite Grows 8.5% in 2003;Broadliner Expects Continued Growth this Year

BRISBANE, CA - BiRite Foodservice Distributors, an ID Top 50 broadliner, grew 8.5% in sales last year.

Sales in 2003 reached about $166 million, up from $153 million in 2002, according to Tim Robertson, vice president of sales.

"The growth has come from a rebound in our street sales in the San Francisco Bay area in addition to continued growth of our morale-welfare-recreation military sales," Robertson told ID Report. He added that business opportunities also appear to be strong for this year.

"We service mostly independent white-table cloth restaurants and we're seeing some rebound in that. Many Silicon Valley companies also did a lot of catering and entertaining so that seems to be rebounding and telling us that the computer companies are starting to use caterers again," he explained. "The Bay Area is at or near a $1 billion foodservice market and we continue to provide a great alternative to the national distributors and that allows us to grab market share for growth opportunities."

To meet this year's opportunities, Robertson said BiRite remains active in industry events and has hired Jim Benson as corporate chef in order to raise its value-added services to operators. "We've also done regional food shows instead of one food show in our market area, which seems to have better response. The events are not selling shows but rather product demonstrations and we've tried to limit the vendors and brokers to new products only," he added.

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