Jim Frazier, owner of Grimaldi Candy Company, which is a GrowFL 2017 Florida Companies to Watch honoree, leveraged his deep expertise in the food industry to purchase a local chocolate maker and transform it into a thriving company breaking through on the national level.
"Grimaldi Candy Company is one of the premier chocolate manufacturers in the Southeast," he said. "We produce over 20,000 pounds of high quality chocolate per day through our enrobing and panning departments."
Enrobing and panning are processes used to coat various foods with chocolate. Grimaldi specializes in niche markets and focuses on creating unique formulations driven by consumer demands.
"We really focus on our innovation and creativity," Frazier explained. "Our strategic differences are that we produce products that are not common in the marketplace. Grimaldi’s foundation is built around being the number one manufacturer of chocolate-covered potato chips in the U.S. We are also very flexible for the size of company we are. We are experts in developing customized private label programs that help drive sales for retailers. We've recently struck a partnership with a well-known brand name to make a number of milk and dark chocolate fruit pieces that will be paramount in Grimaldi’s growth for years to come.
Frazier appreciates the recognition by GrowFL as a Florida Company To Watch.
"To be honored in this event is a clear example of what hard work and dedication means and how successes are made," he said. "For the employees who were with me early on and are with me today, they have seen the transition of Grimaldi from a small local chocolate manufacturer to one of the top chocolate manufacturer in the Southeast part of U.S. Along with those goals we've set and hit and the milestones we've exceeded, this is an additional step for Grimaldi and the evolution of it becoming larger than what it is today."
Frazier's advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to deeply understand market needs.
"Developing a good, strong industry strategy is key, including understanding the market and consumer needs and wants," he said. "It doesn't matter what it is, you have to drive your strategic thinking around what the consumer wants. So many businesses fail because they don’t truly understand what consumers want. Those who figure out those consumer fundamentals will be successful."