Horizon Sales, a Service Deli broker, was founded by Jack Taylor in 1982, back before service delis were an integral part of the Southern California landscape. The focus on such a small segment proved to be successful. As West Coast retailers began growing and building delis, Horizon Sales developed to become one of the top premier perishable brokers.
Currently in Southern California, Horizon’s business is about 65 percent service deli, packaged deli and dairy; 20 percent service bakery; and the remainder is service meat, seafood and produce. Horizon is now a total perimeter of the store broker.
A few years ago when it became evident with the changing marketplace and the consolidation of many retailers that Horizon could and should regionalize the business, Horizon decided to expand outside of Southern California. About six years ago Horizon branched into Northern California with the purchase of a small specialty grocery company. The company was renamed Horizon Specialties and over the last six years the business has changed from 100 percent specialty grocery to 65 to 70 percent perishable.
In 2007 Horizon branched out into Arizona to serve the Arizona/New Mexico marketplace.
The next markets for Horizon were the Pacific Northwest and Denver, Colo. In these markets, Horizon formed alliances with Willis Marketing Inc. in the Pacific Northwest and United Sales & Services in Denver. Its venture with Willis Marketing has yielded a new company, Horizon Northwest LLC, which represents lines that are regionalized for the West.
Horizon has also opened a Utah operation; expanded the operations in Arizona; and formed an alliance with Rainbow Sales & Marketing brokerage in Hawaii. These changes give Principals a single point of contact in the Western U.S. Horizon handles all the order processing, promotions, deductions and all the financials associated with an account through the Southern California operations team.
In June 2011, Horizon gained its first Western regional Principal, Fresh Food Concepts. The company, looking to replace its national broker, wanted Horizon to interview for the company’s Southern California business and ended up choosing Horizon for the whole Western region. Other regional Principals that have since been added are Bel Brands, La Tortilla, Lactalis Deli, Churny Co., Sonoma Creamery, Yucatan Foods and Almark Foods.
In addition to the investments in personnel in all its markets, Horizon has made significant investments in technology to make sure the tools for successful growth are in place. Both the hardware and software utilized in the field offer a customized state of the art reporting system.
Growing into a regional broker hasn’t diminished Horizon’s personal relationships with its Principals or its team members. Horizon’s long-standing commitment in the Southern California market to superior standards and extensive experience in sales, operations and merchandising remains the same. The focus on driving sales has never been stronger. Horizon’s expansion has kept the company strong and is now poised to take the company to the next generation.
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