In 1973 Ernest L. Groeb Jr. (Father) involved his high school aged sons, Ernie and Troy in a beekeeping operation. They called their partnership “ETE Honey”.
As the years progressed, the family kept the bees, establishing a working operation of over 5000 hives in Michigan, Florida and Wisconsin. In 1984 the family changed the name to Groeb Farms and expanded their Onsted, Michigan operation by processing their Honey for the Retail, Foodservice and Industrial Markets. 1984 saw the Groeb family process approximately 400,000 pounds of Honey.
As Industrial and Foodservice markets appeared as the future growth markets, the company grew and the owners knew they must differentiate themselves from other Honey packers. Products such as Peanut Butter, Mustard, Molasses and Vinegar complemented Honey, thus Groeb Farms became a “One Stop Shop” supplier.
In 1987 Groeb Farms bought another Honey packer in Belleview, Florida expanding their sales coverage to the Rockies. In 1988 Groeb farms incorporated, with the father and two sons as the only shareholders.
Gourmet Jose’ a fresh “Pico de Gallo” was purchased by Groeb Farms, Inc. in 1993. The company has become one of the leading “FreshSalsa” makers in the USA. Gourmet Jose’ products are shipped nationwide.
Today, Groeb Farms buys Honey from more than 42 states, Argentina, Canada, China and Mexico, packing over 150,000 pounds of Honey a day at its plants in Belleview, Florida and Onsted, Michigan. Groeb Farms has capacity for over 50 million pounds of Honey. Year end 1998 showed Groeb Farms Inc. as the #1 Industrial and Foodservice Honey packer in the USA. The sales of these products were accomplished with 8 warehouses, over 20 fulltime Food Brokers, their sales staff and 3 in-house sales people.
If you ask the “Groebs” they’ll say they have been very fortunate. The success of Groeb Farms, Inc. is directly attributable to three things:
- Product quality and educating our customers.
- Building a sales/marketing system that includes a company-owned trucking fleet, over 8 warehouses nationwide and a value oriented sales staff.
- Nurturing a contented, productive staff of over 70 full-time employees who approach production with a TQM attitude.
“Our people are what makes this company grow . . .”
“I have a tremendous respect for all the people who work for us. They want to be the best.”
Ernest L. Groeb Jr. – President