Dan Nagelkerke Joins Bremer Authentic Ingredients

“Bremer has a longstanding, great reputation,” says Dan Nagelkerke, who officially joined the Bremer team as general manager at the end of January. “This is a nice opportunity at this point in my career to help continue and build their success.”

Nagelkerke’s career has given him more than 35 years of experience—all of which are in the food and ingredient industries—in distribution with a strong knowledge of food service. When he saw the opportunity to become a part of the Bremer team, he immediately knew it would be a good fit, as Bremer’s values fit so closely to his own.

“I love the way Bremer takes care of its customers,” says Nagelkerke. “One of my strongest passions is taking care of customers, and I’ve focused my career on the customer experience. Being able to add to that culture at Bremer is exciting.”

Dan Nagelkerke

The energy around the office and beyond has been refreshing as Nagelkerke gets familiar with his surroundings. His passion is inspiring those around him, and their energy is motivating him. The core staff of Tim Malefyt, Todd Gifford and Tracy VanDenbeldt will continue doing what they do best while working alongside Nagelkerke.

“I’ve been very warmly welcomed,” says Nagelkerke. “The staff has been helpful in training and teaching me how Bremer operates, while at the same time being open to new ideas to help grow our business now and in the future.”

Most of Nagelkerke’s career has been focused in Michigan and northern Indiana markets, and he’s thrilled to be fully immersed in the region, particularly considering he grew up just outside of Grand Rapids and has raised five children in the area.

“I understand the needs of these markets,” he says, “and after a couple years gaining experience in manufacturing, it’s nice to get back to the distribution business full-time.”

In his first few months, Nagelkerke could be spotted anywhere and everywhere Bremer operates, visiting warehouses, talking to customers, meeting with colleagues and tagging along with drivers on deliveries. Dan believes in truly getting to know his customer base inside and out: how they think and what they really want to make their business successful.

“When I was out riding with drivers,” he says, “I noticed what a great relationship they have with customers. Customers appreciate the attention to detail and service, and I’ve been pleased we have veteran truck drivers that are truly customer-focused. They’re real assets.”

Bremer has always counted having their own dedicated trucks as one of its most valuable advantages, and Nagelkerke immediately recognizes the value of that goes well beyond the convenience of merely having a dedicated trailer. It’s the long-term human relationships on which Bremer prides itself.

Not limited solely to ridealongs, Nageklerke has been using his first few months to learn every aspect of the business.

“I wanted to find out what everybody does and what their day-to-day needs are so I can get a better grip on how our company operates,” he says. “Getting to know customers and colleagues as people is extremely important in a business like ours.”

“A pleasant surprise for me has been the many different types of industries we service.”

Along those lines, Nagelkerke is actively working to determine any niche markets that might fit with Bremer, noting Bremer’s recent success servicing the beverage industry throughout Michigan. He intends to continue Bremer’s success dealing with a large customer base, but is there an opportunity to add a market to the portfolio? 

“I spent my first several weeks getting to know our employees, customers, products, strengths and weaknesses,” he says, “and long-term, I want to seek what niches we can service. Is there something that might be a good fit for a company of our size and versatility?”

Nagelkerke’s commitment to customer service and desire to build on a company that is already focused on customers will undoubtedly propel Bremer’s success in the future.

“I enjoy working with customers and my goal over the years has always been to solve their problems,” he says. “I don’t intend to be in the office all the time, but also on the road, meeting, greeting and helping land more customers and growing our business.”

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How Many Pies Does it Take to Have a Family Gathering?

How Many Pies Does it Take to Have a Family Gathering?

Bakeries around the world love the holiday season. With so many families having so many gatherings, so many pies need to be baked. It starts with Thanksgiving, as orders increase drastically for pumpkin pie and apple pie, specifically, but extends into other pies as well.

Are consumers tired of pie by the time Christmas rolls around? Absolutely not. Thanksgiving whetted the appetite a bit, and individuals are ready to fully indulge at Christmas.

bulk pumpkin pie spice

Courtesy of Pillsbury.

For consumers, the desire is simple: satisfy a craving, enjoy a family get-together and make sure there is enough for everyone. Leftovers are not only acceptable; they’re encouraged.

For bakery owners, it’s a little more complicated, of course. The increased demand for pies means needing to be fully stocked on sugars, flours, seasonings and all other essential ingredients. If you’re out of ingredients, you’re out of pies and customers need to go elsewhere.

At Bremer, our job is to make sure we are amply stocked on all these high-quality food ingredients, so when a baker comes to us with an order, we can fill it in a timely fashion. Consumers need their pies, so bakers need their ingredients, so we need to be ready. And we are.

Is there Such a Thing as Too Much Pie?

The general rule for a holiday family meal, which takes into account larger portions than a normal meal, budgets for each person, on average, to eat one three-inch wedge of a nine-inch pie (there are six of these slices in the pie). Simplified, a family should have one full pie for every six guests at the table.

This is an average, so it factors in the aunt who wants a tiny piece, the uncle who doesn’t like dessert and the cousin who eats half the pie himself. Still, because there are so many types of pies, families are inclined to purchase double or triple the serving suggestion in favor of having flavor options.

In short: individuals will buy more than they need for holiday parties and, based on averages, need more than usual.

Just Desserts?

We’ve focused a lot on pies here, but if you’re a bakery owner, you know the demand for rolls is increasing as well. Each guest at a family gathering will eat 2-3 rolls, depending on size, at dinner, and leftover rolls are one of the most coveted items after the meal.

Understanding this, we’re stocked with the flours, salts and everything necessary for bakers to make their customers’ holidays just that much better.

fresh bakery ingredients

With the holiday rush in full swing, we are available to deliver ingredients promptly to meet your needs. Contact us and let us know how we can help!

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General Mills Flour Recall

Bremer Authentic Ingredients is aware of the issues regarding General Mills flours as described in the news article below. Bremer does not purchase any of the affected flours from General Mills.

MINNEAPOLIS – General Mills, Inc. has announced it is recalling about 10 million lbs of flour after an E. coli outbreak associated with flour sickened 38 people in 20 states between Dec. 21, 2015, and May 3, 2016. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that approximately half of the individuals who said they became sick reported making homemade food with flour before becoming ill, including several who said they used a General Mills brand of flour.

In a May 31 statement, General Mills said the outbreak potentially may be linked to Gold Medal flour, Wondra flour, and Signature Kitchens flour (sold in Safeway, Albertsons, Jewel, Shaws, Vons, United, Randalls and Acme).

The company also said some of the ill people may have consumed raw dough or batter.

But General Mills also pointed out that it has not found any presence of E. coli O121 in any of its flour products or in the flour manufacturing facility, and the company has not been contacted directly by any consumer reporting confirmed illnesses related to the company’s products. Even so, the company said it felt it was best to initiate the recall out of an abundance of caution.

Click here for the official release from General Mills.

It’s Grilling Season

It’s Grilling Season

Welcome to that wonderful time of the year when baseball season is underway, storm doors are being replaced with screen doors, furnaces go dormant and everyone’s mood naturally improves. Welcome to grilling season.

The glorious aroma of on-the-grill meat wafts through neighborhoods all over the country, with special enthusiasm among our fellow Michiganders. Those about to indulge begin to salivate and those down the road become envious of the lucky family with the grill aflame.

At Bremer, grilling season also means making sure our warehouses are stocked with everything hot-dog producers, meat packagers and other food producers need to produce, manufacture, package and ship their products.

The Perfect Barbecue

The perfect barbecue is, of course, heavily influenced by the person doing the grilling. However, that person knows he needs the right ingredients. Even something so seemingly simple like barbecue sauce needs high-quality sugars, brown sugars, spices and seasonings.

Seemingly simple, maybe, but actually highly complex. The proof of barbecue sauce not being so simple is the sheer number of available recipes on shelves. Smoked paprika, onion powder and cracked black pepper are just a few of the ingredients we’re loading onto our trucks this time of year.

We’re fully stocked to keep barbecue producers’ ingredient supply abundant, keeping neighborhoods around the country smelling delicious all summer.

Take Me to the Ballpark

What’s the first thing fans do when you get to the baseball game? Many go straight from having their tickets swiped to the hot-dog stand, no matter what it costs. As baseball season gets underway, the human palate senses the deliciousness of a properly prepared hot dog.

Packaging supplies, especially when dealing with meat, are extremely important, keeping products fresh and at their best for fans to enjoy at the ol’ ballpark.

We enjoy grilling season as much as everyone else, which is why we keep our dedicated trucks on the road, full of the ingredients producers and processors need so we can all enjoy a quality time outdoors.

We understand the special needs of meat packing and poultry processing. If you have a request, please Click Here to get in touch. We are here to help!