Part 3: PreGel America: The Progress of a Decade

The North American subsidiary of PreGel s.p.a. began with one man and is now a 100+ person operation made up of individuals who labor in tandem for the purpose of unparalleled customer satisfaction—an earnest goal that has promoted the company’s growth to include the addition of three unique departments into its infrastructure, as well as the expansion process of PreGel’s physical edifice.

“When PreGel AMERICA opened its headquarters in North Carolina, it brought with it over 30 years of experience and history, and a new passion for the U.S. market. Since opening our doors in 2002, the growth of our company and industry in the U.S. has been tremendous, and we are very optimistic about the potential the future brings,” says Marco Casol, President & CEO of PreGel AMERICA.

Corporate staples like Accounting, Sales, Marketing, Sampling,Training and Distribution, which help make up the departmental skeleton that upheld PreGel AMERICA since its early stages, all play a critical role in the sustainability of the international company by maintaining the integrity of PreGel’s financial matters and overall impeccable customer service respectively. However, newer units of PreGel AMERICA, notably Key Accounts, Production, Quality Assurance and Research & Development were added to continue to position the company as an innovative leader within the dessert industry and cater directly to its clients’ needs.

Beginning with Key Accounts, PreGel AMERICA made the decision to develop this branch in 2008 to focus on unique accounts such as cruise lines, supermarkets, quick service restaurants, high-yield bakeries, food manufacturers, colleges, hospitals and hospitality.

“Key Accounts delivers a more customized approach to our larger customers.We almost become an extension of the companies we work with, assisting with logistics, R&D, marketing, etc. It truly is a unique concept for us, but that is what these partnerships require and we are proud to be able to support and execute what is needed,” said Anna Pata, Key Accounts Manager.

Inside the time span of ten years, PreGel AMERICA has also continued to move forward with innovation and became the second manufacturing facility aside from PreGel Italy in 2009. Incorporating the Production Department into the inner functions of the company has allowed for the facility to manufacture powdered mixes and bases.“The production department is the driving force that turns the wheels of every manufacturing company moving it forward, because without it there are no goods to sell to customers,” explains Ginger McKinney, Director of Operations.

According to McKinney, one of Production’s top priorities is to ensure the goods being produced meet all quality expectations and standards, which means the Production Department conducts numerous checks for each step of the creation of dry powder mixes, including balancing just the right amount of each ingredient for a recipe, to making sure each finished product passes stringent safety tests before final packaging. “Our commitment to food safety and quality, along with customizable options in blending has set us apart from our competitors,” McKinney adds.

PreGel AMERICA’s production schedule has also come to contain an extensive portfolio of private label products which includes some of the most recognized names in the industry.“Bringing the finest ingredients to our customers from a facility inside the U.S. takes PreGel to the next level in distinguishing itself as a dominant figure in the gelato and frozen yogurt industries,” McKinney proudly concludes.

Within the past decade, PreGel AMERICA elevated to contain a top-notch Human Resources department, an exceptionally creative Marketing team and a brand new Subsidiaries unit to oversee the growth of PreGel CANADA, PreGel MEXICO and PreGel LATIN AMERICA, all of which are under the PreGel AMERICA umbrella.The Institute for Food Technology & Innovation were later instituted as part of the strong fabric that makes up PreGel AMERICA.

“The Food Safety &Technical Service Department acts as a guardian of the public’s trust by ensuring absolute safe food from supplier to customer at every level in the process,” explains Wendy Bigala, food safety & technical service manager.

Ensuring that PreGel AMERICA’s operations, from procurement to production, are complying with all current and changing regulation globally, the Food Safety and Technical Service Department works tirelessly on creating and implementing programs, policies and procedures, data collection, problem- solving, fact-based results and research based on scientific discoveries and evidence.They must also have a full understanding of current food laws and regulations.

As a part of its growth, PreGel AMERICA has also achieved the certifications and manufacturing standards of Kosher certificates on special products, HACCP (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points) Food Safety Plan, 2010 AIB (American Institute of Baking) Certificate, and has passed and is up-to-date on all NC, USDA and FDA inspections.

Adding to its ongoing growth, PreGel AMERICA recently revamped its internal structure. New locations were erected for the Training, Marketing and Food Safety & Technical Ser vice Depar tments. Major amenities include a new test kitchen and a sensory tasting area. Additionally, by Januar y of 2013, a new facility providing just under 185,00 sq. ft. will sit adjacent to PreGel AMERICA’s existing structure to house additional office and warehouse space—a sure sign
of continued growth and ongoing leadership within the industry.

Part 4 of this four-part anniversary series will explore the future goals of PreGel AMERICA, and its ever- enduring goal to provide the world with superb education and quality ingredients surrounding specialty desserts.