St. Cousair: Please explain a little about your business.
Blair Reynolds, President, BG Reynolds Syrups: BG Reynolds syrups was started in 2009. I was working as a bartender, making all my own scratch syrups behind the bar. I made scratch syrups, because nobody was making something of the quality that I wanted to serve my customers. And I thought, well, if there is nothing on the shelf of that quality, why don’t I try putting something on the shelf. So I took a leap and started a small business that now ships products nationwide, We sell online at bgreynolds.com, we sell on Amazon, we sell to partners such as Disney Parks, and our products are really well-known amongst tiki and cocktail people.
SC: What has your experience been working with St. Cousair?
BR: My experience working with St. Cousair has been positive, professional, and informative on the food process. Even we, after ten years in food-making, are being shown new things, especially through the professionalism of St. Cousair.
SC: What was your main reason for choosing St. Cousair?
BR: When first talking with St. Cousair, I got a sense that, more than anyone I had worked with, St. Cousair knew what they were doing, had the capacity to fulfill what I needed to grow, and they had a system in place that could help me to grow my business while not having to worry as much about production.
SC: How has St.Cousair supported your business?
BR: St. Cousair has supported my business throughout this whole process. From identifying where we might need changes in the ingredients to match federal standards, to offering suggestions on where to change things like labels and such, and working together to make sure the process put out the right quality of product. Essentially, I provided recipes which were not even fully written down and St. Cousair created for me the full picture of how it could be brought to production. St. Cousair provided all the details, and I have never worked with someone who had that kind of professionalism — something that is in everything; every transaction between my company and St. Cousair.
SC: Your product was great to start with, but do you think we improved your product?
BR: Absolutely. I think that naturally when you are changing production there are going to be some chances to reevaluate the product, but I think your team was really patient and really was on the right track from the get-go. I knew some of my products could be improved – little tweaks here and there. And St.Cousair helped make that happen.
SC: How about St. Cousair’s R&D Support?
BR: With St. Cousair’s R&D support, I didn’t have to think about where exactly to source the ingredients. This saved me a lot of work. I didn’t have to come up with the cleanest recipe that had everything down to a science because St. Cousair made that happen for me. During R&D I think we were able to take the product and not only bring it to mass-production, but slightly improve it as well. The process was simple too. We didn’t have to hand over all the bottles of my product to an outside tester. Everything was taken care if in-house, which is extremely convenient for somebody who runs a business by themselves.
SC: What did you think of St. Cousair’s facility?
BR: It’s the cleanest facility I have every seen, with obvious attention to making sure that there is capacity, that the machines are clean, that the customers are happy with their product, and in the end, the consumer who purchases it off the shelf is happy with that product too. St. Cousair’s facility has sophisticated technology to do this, like jar washers and a pasteurization tunnel. That tells me that the people at St. Cousair are professional and that you want to create the best products possible.
SC: What was your impression of St. Cousair’s Quality Control?
BR: I think just the way St. Cousair makes sure that everyone going into the facility is doing so based on strict rules of cleanliness is great. And on the production line there were things I didn’t expect, like metal detectors and other such equipment to make sure that the products are safe.
SC: What about your problem solving experience; how did we communicate with you?
BR: During production, there were some problems, like our passion fruit labels, but with St. Cousair, communication was simple and quick. Nobody was dragged out or blamed or waited too long, we just took care of what needed to be taken care of. That again goes to the level of professionalism that St. Cousair offers.
SC: And the scheduling? Are you satisfied with our communication about scheduling?
BR: I am very satisfied with the communication about scheduling. Though we did have to change the date for our initial run, I also knew the reasons behind that change, and we tried to get re-scheduled as soon as possible. And even if we didn’t make a date, I knew about it almost two months ahead of time when we would be running, which can make a huge difference for someone like me. Because then I can tell my customer waiting for delivery of the product, “Hey, we’ll have that back in stock at this time,” and know when it is going to be made. Just knowing when things are coming out is great!
SC: How did we make a difference compared to other co-packers?
BR: Great communication, a sense of professionalism, a fantastic facility – much more of what I would expect out of a business partner.
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