From four guys with a vision for the industry to 26 and counting, IFA’s meteoric growth is owed to our clients’ trust and our dedication to be different
IFA is a different kind of company. We work for some of the best food companies from around the world selling their products to retailers in all channels. We started out as an importer and evolved into brand builders with a full-service menu of capabilities.
Our founders have known each other for over a dozen years and were formerly the management team responsible for the successful development of Liberty Richter from ’94 thru 2004 growing revenues from $23m to $80m. Discontent with the state-of-the-industry and the demands of acquisition hungry shareholders they all longed to do something different – to make a difference.
In 2007, Larry LaPare, a former Liberty Richter executive, came out of retirement and asked Don Cook, Dale Lucas and Mike Wheeler to join him in a new venture. Leaving behind very lucrative positions they all gambled on a common vision of a company not bound to the unreasonable demands of large share shareholders but bound in the interests of its clients. The band was back together and Specialty Food Companies impressed with their business model signed up and sang their praises. The company started growing and hiring, the gamble paid off and IFA became a player in the industry.
The untimely passing of Larry LaPare in 2009 left the new company with a broken heart and some big shoes to fill. Mr. LaPare’s managerial and financial leadership was critical to IFA. The search was on, but not long-lived. The answer soon came from one of IFA’s clients, Greg Figueroa, a successful Specialty Food entrepreneur and executive with a background in brand development and management took the reins. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Figueroa brought Gary Ruchlin on board bringing over 25 years’ experience in distribution, logistics, business process engineering and accounting. IFA was better than whole again and positioned to offer clients a much more robust set of skills and services.