At Local First AZ we do a lot to highlight local restaurants and local food. A big piece of the local food puzzle is connecting our local restaurants to local food distributors. As the bigger nationwide foodservice distributors continue to merge and occupy a larger share of the market, the availability of independent choices for local restaurants continues to shrink. Additionally, large global food distributors have very little interest in working with local food producers. Luckily there are still a few local options. This month’s member spotlight highlights Merit Foods, a third generation local food distributor run by the Sadowsky family. The Sadowsky family has over fifty years of experience in the food service industry. Irving Sadowsky, alongside his son Mort, started Ace Poultry in 1960 in Tucson, Arizona. They raised, processed, and delivered fresh poultry to restaurants throughout Tucson. Mort applied his expertise and established Merit Foods. Years later, the company was passed down to his son Matt Sadowsky, when he purchased it in 1998. The family tradition of outstanding service and creating personal relationships with customers, is something Matt has carried on. The team at Merit Foods is comprised of some of the most experienced food service professionals in the market. In fact, many have worked for Matt's father and grandfather.
Matt's brother, Mike Sadowsky, also works in the business and says that they love being part of the Tucson business community. “Tucson has been our family’s home since 1941. Along with being a beautiful community with wonderful diversity, it has a vibrant host of restaurants for every taste. It truly is a national food destination,” says Mike. “The new trends are exciting and always keep us learning about our customers’ needs for new and different products. We are excited and proud to contribute to such a unique atmosphere that is Tucson.” Local restaurants appreciate the attention to service that Merit provides. "Everyone at Merit has really supported Baja Cafe and have tried to help us succeed in every way," comments Gerard Meurer, co-owner of Baja Cafe. "It means a lot to us." When Mike heard about Local First Arizona, he felt it was a natural fit for Merit to be a member. “We always try to use local businesses, because not only are they our friends, family and neighbors but more of the money stays in our community. This in turn helps the community and all industries grow. When people purchase from non-local businesses all the profits go out of the state and in some cases out of the country. Many of the establishments we service are local and it is incredibly rewarding to create a close partnership that contributes to their success.”
Merit Foods will be hosting their 1st Annual Customer Appreciation Show on August 27th at The Desert Diamond Casino & Hotel. All restaurants are welcome to attend. For more information about the event please contact [email protected]