BULLISH ON HORSERADISH
Three Marks – Healy, Whitmore and Vandenbosch – set out to build on solid roots, steer evolving horseradish market to new heights
Norfolk County, Ont., May 19, 2021 – Stylish, upside-down horseradish jars are being shipped by the truck-load out of lush Norfolk County, Ontario to a growing number of customers across Canada and the U.S. The heightened level of commercial and culinary activity from this rural part of the country is part of a new movement to redefine the horseradish market with new taste, innovation and vision, and it’s off to a healthy first harvest. The result of a migration of sorts – three successful business leaders, all Marks, making the novel jump into horseradish manufacturing and production – the new owners have already seen a four-fold increase in accounts, high double-digit growth, and an extensive show of support from its customers.
“I could have never foreseen this career path,” says Mark Healy, CEO and co-owner of Dennis’ Horseradish. “When we assessed the opportunity and tried the product, we knew we had something special here and with these initial results it’s easy to understand why we’re strengthening our roots and expanding our expectations.”
In early 2020 Healy joined forces with Mark Whitemore, previously Managing Partner at a Deloitte member firm, to purchase Dennis’ Horseradish, a well-respected brand founded by Dennis Gyorffy in 1960. Before the end of the year, the Marks brought in another Mark (Vandenbosch), previously Dean of Ivey Business School at Western University, to join the team as head of finance and expand its commercial and bulk business. In less than a year, the new owners have made investments in manufacturing, expanded the product lineup, rejuvenated branding and packaging, expanded their team and opened new markets in commercial, bulk orders and private labels.
“We’ve fallen in love with this brand and especially this new vision of horseradish,” says Mark Whitmore, co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Dennis’. “We now understand why the product has enjoyed long staying power in the North American diet over the centuries. With some investment and a renewed, clear roadmap, we’re bullish about the future of the category and the growth opportunities at Dennis’.”
With plans now drawn, the new owners have extended their relationship with Rick Hantz, master horseradish maker for Dennis’ since 1977 and one of the architects behind the brand’s signature grind. A well-kept secret, the coarse grind allows the product to retain its taste potential, maintain optimal hot or taste factor, offering a more palpable texture that continues to please consumers. Farmers Lindsay Menich and Drew Patterson are devoted to providing Dennis’ with its quality and taste-loaded roots. Norfolk County is considered by many to offer the most suitable soil in North America for naturally hot and tasty horseradish.
Harnessing the experience and creativity of its members, the new core team has strengthened Dennis’ lineup to include new-and-improved hot and extra hot horseradish, limited edition maple horseradish and a limited-edition black label. The new owners have also launched a private label business and bulk-sized packaging for commercial and retail customers. One of the earliest fruits of this investment has been an immediate expansion of its U.S. business.
“This new vision of horseradish offers limitless possibilities – all tasty,” says Healy. “Dennis’ adds a truly memorable punch to salads, seafood, sandwiches and even vegetables or chips as a dip. It’s an absolute essential in any kitchen. The future is bright for horseradish and we’re not going to ride into it on our own. This adventure was made for you and me. There’s room for many and it all starts with a tasty first bite.”
Take a step closer to your first spoon or bowl-full of Dennis’ Horseradish by visiting the brand at dennishorseradish.com.
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About Dennis’ Horseradish
Established in 1960, Dennis’ Horseradish is a premium, small-batch horseradish that packs a kick and adds taste to just about anything. Visit dennishorseradish.com today to learn more and, most importantly, to join the new horseradish movement and Dennis’ quest for culinary adventure.
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