Madison Lane Grows Specialty Food Brokerage, Acquiring Murdock & White
PORTLAND, Ore. – Local wholesale specialty-food brokerage Madison Lane is expanding its offerings with the purchase of Seattle-based Murdock & White, a wholesale specialty-food brokerage that represents a diverse range of regional, national and international specialty food products.
“The timing was perfect!” Brian Howard, owner of Madison Lane, says. It was the right time for us to expand. I was ready to take Madison Lane to the next level, and Murdock & White was seeking a compatible buyer. It’s really the perfect match as together we bring fifty years of experience in specialty foods.”
Charlene Murdock, co-owner of Murdock & White, agrees. “Our two companies already share a similar focus – the same business philosophy and approach to representing high-quality specialty food products. We both bring extensive market and product knowledge to the table, and we both focus on customer service and pay attention to the details, which makes a big difference in our relationships. Even many of our customers are the same.”
Fortunately, the two companies’ product lines complement rather than compete with each other, easing the transition. Madison Lane, known for representing manufacturers of high quality cheeses and other specialty products, currently serves stores such as Zupan's, New Seasons, Fred Meyer, Haggen's and Town & Country Markets to name a few, throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. Acquiring Murdock & White more than quadruples Madison Lane’s business, adding approximately 40 proven Murdock & White-represented products, which include condiments, pastas, grains, sauces, marinades, crackers, cookies, nuts, snacks, chocolates, confections, sea salts, spices, oils, vinegars and teas, as well as Northwest products, gourmet accessories and seasonal products.
These new product lines extend Madison Lane’s market reach into multiple departments within retail grocery stores. With this acquisition, the company is establishing a new Specialty Grocery division, which will operate separately from its Perishable/Deli division. As Howard explains, “I believe we can best serve our customers and manufacturers by operating from distinct divisions that mirror retail grocery departments, since each department requires unique knowledge and skill sets. My vision for Madison Lane includes having multiple divisions set up within Madison Lane that will cater to retail grocers – so we operate as a wall-to-wall specialty retail broker.”
Madison Lane intends to retain its own and Murdock & White’s sales and administrative staff to maintain continuity in their established customer relationships. Charlene Murdock will help with the transition, remaining onboard for a minimum of three years as a consultant to maintain and service current Murdock & White customers, help with product training, and assist with integrating Murdock & White into Madison Lane. “The only thing that will change there is the name on the sign,” Howard promises. “In fact, with this expansion, we’ll be looking for more high-caliber sales reps, merchandisers and operational support staff to join our company.”
Colleague Fred Charley, former CEO of EuroBest (now DPI Northwest), isn’t surprised by Madison Lane’s success under Brian Howard’s leadership. “I’ve known Brian since 1986 when he started in the specialty-food business with us. I’ve always been impressed by his business acumen and drive, not to mention his genuine passion for the specialty-food industry. When Brian decided to launch Madison Lane in 2003, we fully supported his desire to start a brokerage company focusing on high quality specialty food products and cheeses. Now I’m thrilled that he’s able to grow his business further.”
Howard is indeed enthusiastic about Madison Lane’s future. “Our retail-grocer customers, foodservice customers and distributors have just gained a consolidated access point through Madison Lane to a much broader selection of local and international specialty food products. We’re excited to be able to offer our fantastic full new line, which will be coming to market through our custom-trained specialists. We’re also looking forward to representing some new product manufacturers, thanks to our increased capabilities.”
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Madison Lane Sales + Marketing
Madison Lane Sales + Marketing, a specialty food brokerage located in the Portland, Oregon area has been in business since 2003. They represent high-quality local, national and international products, which they provide along with excellent customer service to retail grocery and foodservice clients throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. The company, under owner Brian Howard, recently acquired Murdock & White, substantially growing Madison Lane’s business and putting the company in position for substantial new growth. For more information visit http://www.madison-lane.com/
Murdock & White
Murdock & White, a Seattle-based marketing firm founded by Charlene Murdock and Richard White, has been in business since 1988 representing the finest regional, national and international specialty foods and products. They work with gift, specialty foods, specialty grocery, catalog and grocery distribution accounts. All represented products meet the company’s strict quality guidelines in terms of originality, authenticity and effective packaging. A knowledgeable sales staff offers a wide range of support services tailored to local markets in the Pacific Northwest territory they serve Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. For more information visit http://www.murdockandwhite.com/