Mission & History
Woodland Foods® is passionate about ingredients. For more than 25 years, we have built relationships with farmers and growers around the world to supply our customers with the finest natural ingredients. Since our very first order of Chanterelle Mushrooms in 1990 to the more than 1,500 products we currently offer, our focus has been to obtain the uncommon, discover coveted ingredients before anyone else, and reintroduce ancient foods that nature never intended for us to forget.
At Woodland Foods, we are committed to excellence in food safety, quality, and sourcing. By providing our customers with an unrivaled variety of ingredients, we aim to exceed expectations while offering an array of convenient services including product development, packaging and label design.
Some of these ingredients have journeyed from far-flung corners of the earth to reach your plate—like the strikingly bold quinoa fields buried alongside the Andes Mountains of Peru, the Indian spice markets filled with the scent of a thousand spices, the stunning salt shores off the coast of France, and the gorgeous plush landscape of the Bhutan rice fields. Each ingredient has a story to tell.
Together, our ingredients represent all areas of the inhabited world. Woodland Foods’ search for unique ingredients has spanned the globe and taken us to over 60 countries on 6 different continents. With such a wide variety of ingredients, we also recognize that it’s crucial to have a complete selection that incorporates kitchen essentials.
Today we stand at the forefront of the specialty ingredient industry, focused and poised to provide a constantly growing stream of exotics such as freekeh, Kermes rice, and scorpion chiles while continuing to offer mainstream favorites such as thyme, almonds and sun-dried tomatoes.
We also maintain our substantial and steadily growing line of foods for health-conscious consumers, including organics, vegan and gluten-free products.
As we have done from the beginning, Woodland Foods strives to meet the growing and changing needs of manufacturing, foodservice, retail and club store customers. We love to share our passion for food and our search for the next remarkable ingredient is never complete. Whether you are looking for staples within our unrivaled selection or distinctive ingredients to set your products apart, Woodland Foods is your trusted specialty food ingredient provider.
Woodland Foods’ headquarters in Waukegan, Illinois, is the centerpiece of more than 450,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space we maintain in Northern Illinois. Our facilities were specifically designed and constructed to conform to the most stringent quality and safety standards.
The BRC (British Retail Consortium) is a leading global product safety and quality certification program used by certificated suppliers in over 100 countries and is recognized as a GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) benchmarked food safety scheme. A growing number of retailers and major manufacturers in Europe and North America require this independent certification from their suppliers. They facilitate standardization of quality, safety, operational criteria and manufacturers’ fulfillment of legal obligations. They also help provide protection to the consumer. With BRC Certification, we have attained the highest global food safety standard for the receipt, storage, blending, packaging and transport of dry foods and ingredients.
- HAACP Certified (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point).
- HHACCP is a systematic series of preventative measures to ensure food safety during all stages of production processes.
- Designed for comprehensive and detailed ingredient inspection. Our products are visually inspected, metal-detected, cleaned, sorted and laboratory-analyzed.
- Constructed to accommodate complete aroma segregation of ingredients, allowing each of our 1,500 ingredients to maintain its true natural flavor.
- Designed to support complete and comprehensive product traceability, from product inception to customer delivery.
- Temperature controlled - A temperature regulated facility allows for maximum shelf life and stability.
- Equipped with a purpose-built culinary center and a state-of-the-art quality assurance lab. We constantly monitor the quality of our products from quality control to culinary development of the ingredients we sell.
Our Quality Assurance Department is unrelentingly committed to food safety and product quality. We partner exclusively with suppliers that deliver consistently clean, high-quality ingredients. We demand uncompromisingly good practices from our suppliers and closely monitor every stage of production from farm to fork.
In fact, every day we receive or ship products, our in-house QA lab ensures every item we handle consistently meets our most exacting specifications. We’ve worked hard to build our reputation by exceeding our customers’ expectations and are dedicated to providing consistent, reputable products as well as share our expert product knowledge gained from years of experience.
Our on-site Quality Assurance lab goes beyond the typical procedures at other facilities. We focus on:
- Allergen control.
- Strict adherence to ingredient specifications.
- Monitor consistency in quality, color, flavor, and texture.
- Comprehensive and detailed ingredient inspection – our products are closely inspected, metal-detected, cleaned, sorted and laboratory-analyzed.