The Fresh Factory

A fresh take on scaling food and beverage brands.

At the Fresh Factory, we’ve built a platform to accelerate the growth of emerging food and beverage brands. We are vertically integrated from the farm to the shelf and offer services above and beyond traditional manufacturing, becoming a trusted growth partner for leading brands. In short, we seek to be a partner, not a vendor.

From Benchtop to Scale

Formulation: Our in-house team of food scientists can work with your brand to scale up production from the benchtop to full production runs. We’ll offer recommendations on ingredients to make products simpler and more cost-effective to manufacture. 

Food Safety: We work to ensure your formula is food safe, including receiving the proper process-authority letters, and meets all current regulatory requirements. 

Trials: When you’re ready to begin production, we can perform full-production trial runs to ensure the product quality is the same for large runs as it was in the kitchen. 

Transparent and Trusted Suppliers

Fresh Produce: We’ve built a trusted supply chain for fresh produce and have direct relationships with farmers and cooperatives around the country. On any given day, we’ process thousands of pounds of produce. Need good oranges in December? We know where to find them.

Packaging: We work with a host of packaging suppliers both in the US and abroad. Our product development team works with emerging brands to find the ideal look and cost for their products.

Ingredients: Sourcing ingredients can be challenging and costly at small scale. We have a network of suppliers to economically source what you need at the quality specifications you demand. If your recipe calls for it, we’ve likely bought it or know where to get it.

Flexible, Safe, and Scalable

We are a market leader in food safety with extensive experience handling fresh produce ingredients, as well as products destined for HPP (high-pressure processing). We are proud of our top-rated Safe Quality Food (SQF) Level III certification and routinely work with products certified as gluten-free, kosher, plant-based, non-GMO, and USDA organic. Our facility is based in Carol Stream, Illinois, just west of Chicago and a short drive to many leading distributors. We can service the entire country from this central location.

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A Diverse and Growing Set of Capabilities

Glass (hot and cold)

Cups (hot and cold)

Plastic (hot and cold)

Canning

  • Salad dressing
  • Coffee and teas
  • Drinkable soups
  • Low- to medium-viscosity beverages
  • Tamper-evident plastic caps
  • Labeled, screen-printed, and shrink-sleeved
  • Dips, spreads, salsa, and hummus
  • Fruit and vegetable slurry/purees
  • Baby foods
  • Soup, salad dressing, and condiments
  • Cold-fill and hot-fill
  • Plastic cup containers ranging from 1 to 16 ounces
  • Labeled, screen-printed, shrink-sleeved, and IML
  • Cold-pressed juices
  • Smoothies
  • Infused waters
  • Low- to medium-viscosity beverages
  • Tamper-evident plastic caps
  • Labeled, screen-printed, and shrink-sleeved
  • Coffee and teas
  • Infused and sparkling waters
  • Retort capabilities
  • Cans ranging from 6 to 12 ounces

A True Operating Partner

Assembly, Packing, and Pick-Pack-Ship: Our team can provide assembly, case-packing, and pick-pack-ship services to help you fulfill orders, whether for traditional retail distribution or alternative channels.

Storage and Inventory Management: We provide on-site and off-site storage for ingredients and finished goods, whether dry or refrigerated. We can also help put an inventory plan in place and manage inventory levels.

Distribution: We often have multiple customers going to the same city or DC, and our in-house logistics team can coordinate deliveries and optimize routes to reduce transportation and distribution costs. 

We work with farmers from around the country, from small, local, indoor farms that grow wheatgrass for cold-pressed juice to large farming cooperatives that can provide special varietals and quality ingredients year-round.

Flexible Financing

Terms and Factoring: We can extend terms on receivables typically by setting up lockbox arrangements on purchase orders. We can also introduce companies, depending ono their needs, to various financing partners to help with working capital.

Capital Partners: We are in constant collaboration with accelerators, incubators, flavor houses, consultants, and investors in the food and beverage space and are happy to make introductions within our network on an as-needed basis.

Equity Partners: Each year we choose 2-3 companies as equity partners. Equity partnership often involves an investment of services, equipment, and other resources in exchange for equity. 

Download Partnership Presentation

Production Facility, Carol Stream, IL
Our manufacturing, food safety, innovation, logistics, finance, and procurement teams all work out of the same facility to ensure optimal communication and execution.

Innovation

We developed a line of plant-based dips to compete with traditional dairy dips, using beans and banana flour instead of dairy.

Supply Chain

We built a robust supply chain, allowing customers to know exactly which farm’s produce was sourced. 

Manufacturing

We produce a diverse set of beverage and food products, many of which utilize HPP and fresh ingredients.

Fulfillment

We handle all packing, assembly, order fulfillment,  storage, inventory management, and distribution.

Finance

We provided flexible financing terms to allow for brand growth during the national rollout.

“There is no way we could have launched the Field + Farmer brand without the help of the Fresh Factory. They cut our time to market, handled all sourcing of the highest quality and most affordable packaging and ingredients, and allowed us to launch with a set of innovative products across multiple categories.”

Megan KleinFounder, Field + Farmer

Our Values

 Safety + Quality  It all starts with safety and quality.
 Innovation  We make original and inspiring food.
 Operational Excellence  We want tomorrow to be better than today.
 Integrity  We do what we say.
 Sustainability  It’s about something bigger.

The Fresh Factory was structured as a B-Corp from day one. We compost 100% of our waste and buy directly from farmers (often local to us) whenever possible. We take employee development seriously and continue to raise wages year over year. As our values say, it’s about something bigger.

Ideal Partners

Plant-based: We do not handle or work with meat in any capacity. We have worked with dairy but increasingly help brands eliminate it from their recipes.

Fresh Ingredients and Clean-label: We have deep expertise with fresh ingredients (i.e., produce) and have built out refrigerated production and distribution. The cleaner the ingredient deck, the better, but no worries if not—we’ll help you get it there.

Distribution: We want to see some distribution that shows initial traction and a credible plan to expand across stores and channels.

Well-funded: Building a brand is expensive—we want to partner with entrepreneurs and investors who are in it for the long haul.

Passionate: We look for passionate entrepreneurs with novel products who we’re excited to work with.