Creating a Niche Market
Wills Salads was formed in 1949 to address the need of producing and delivering freshly made homemade tasting salads at competitive prices. This niche was set apart from other commercially prepared salads because of the quality level of its products. The original owner sold to Mr. Walt Gurerra in 1958, who for 18 years, operated Wills Salads producing only five deli salads to two jobbers who delivered products to quality minded customers throughout the
East Bay Area of Northern California.
In 1979, Wills Fresh Foods was purchased by Daniel Woolery of Woolery Enterprises, Inc. and has operated under this entity since that time. Dan, CEO alongside Susan (wife and mother of their three children), are dedicated to serving superior quality salads with only the freshest ingredients. Increased popularity and inmarket product demand required a need for a larger facility. Wills relocated to a 25,000 sq. ft. fully refrigerated, USDA approved, processing plant located at 1991 Republic Avenue, San Leandro, Ca. in August, 1988 and changed its name to Wills Family Favorites. The company, still overseen by Dan, now includes the next generation. His son, Michael Woolery joined the team in 2008 in Southern California as a Regional Sales Manager and is now managing operations at the San Leandro Headquarters. Wills continues to grow steadily and has a current customer base of well over 70 distributors and a product base blossoming to over ninety food products ranging from deli style salads to desserts.
Growth & Expansion
Wills invested over $1 million in 1994 to upgrade its production capabilities to service the production demands of its success, which resulted in quadruple production capacity with 50% decrease in labor. Making this move has been a key ingredient for Wills continued increase of market share due to its reduced costs of manufacturing, establishing Wills as a bona fide contender for vendor consideration for large volume oriented food service accounts and grocery store chain delis. Customers such as Costco, Albertson’s, SaveMart/Lucky Supermarkets, Raley’s Supermarkets, Sprout’s Farmers Markets, Gelson’s Markets, Safeway National amongst many others have utilized Wills for its quality products for their deli salad needs.
True to Our Root
Our Signature Salad San Francisco Potato continues to be a top rated choice across all market segments. To stay current with our customers needs, future product line development includes prepacked salads, a line of salad kits and retail deli trade.
"Creating food that not only healthy and nutritious to eat, but also Tastes Good has been my passion for many years. While designing products around costs and efficiencies of production may begin the process of new products , we always finish up that process to ensure that the end result just plain tastes good , Just Like Mom's "
Dan Woolery, Owner
Wills is built on loyalty within a familystyle atmosphere where employees are encouraged to take ownership of their daytoday responsibilities. Wills employees are passionate about our
products allowing for internal promotion from within as a top priority when opportunities arise. Where the industry trend for manufacturing/production facilities experience an average
turnover rate of employees of six as little as months, Wills proudly embraces the fact that over 40% of all employees have dedicated their time to Wills Fresh Foods for a decade or longer. Wills Executives and Production staff comprise a company core whose whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts:
Daniel C. Woolery
Are you someone who loves the food industry and cares about quality ingredients? Contact
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