If you haven't heard, Quince and Apple recently purchased Treat - an artisan spiced and candied nut maker out of Milwaukee, WI. Since the announcement was made, several people have asked me - why Treat?
There are so many ways that the two companies make sense together - we both make really delicious products, we share many of the same customers, we're both from Wisconsin, we both spend a lot of time around the cheese industry. And while these were all very important considerations, they weren't fundamentally what gave us that gut feeling that we should move ahead with buying Treat.
Instead, it was the fact that, at their core, both Quince and Apple and Treat are companies that make things.
I think one of the misconceptions about running an artisan food company is that you spend much of your day in a series of Instagram-able moments - laughing attractively at farmers markets, styling lush cheese trays or quaintly admiring each individual piece of fruit that goes into a pot.
In reality, if you're going to be a successful artisan food producer, you're going to spend much more time making sure your glass shipment arrives on time, trying to accurately project what inventory levels you'll need to fill orders quickly, learning and responding to constantly shifting FDA rules and managing your ever important cash flow.
Oh, and cleaning. Lots and lots of cleaning.
Anyone who starts an artisan food business that starts to enjoy some success eventually runs into this reality and when they do, they have a few choices:
Not that many companies choose option three because it's expensive, complex, the FDA is a bear to deal with and it can take a long time to get right.
But, at Quince and Apple we've always felt that our commitment to making our own product and staying true to artisan production methods is what makes our preserves and syrups special.
In Treat, we found a company equally committed to making their own product.
For six years, every bag and jar of Treat spiced and candied nuts has been made and packed by hand with great care and attention. And even though Treat's nuts are now sold in stores nationwide, they've never outsourced production and their quality has remained outstanding because the same people are making them in the same way as when the company first started.
And, fundamentally, it was this shared culture of choosing commitment to quality through making everything in house that assured us that Quince and Apple and Treat would be a perfect match.
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