Editor’s note: This article is part of the BBVA Compass Success Series. The articles, which highlight home-grown, innovative businesses in the North Texas region, also appear on Dallas Innovates, a site featuring daily content covering the innovation ecosystem in North Texas.
By Vanessa McGrady
In the 1960s, Herman Rothstein started selling candy out of his car. Within six years, his business outgrew his car, moved into a warehouse, and transformed into the candy distribution company, Redstone Foods.
Today the company, located in the Dallas suburb of Carrollton, Texas, supplies shops all over world with more than 6,000 types of chocolate, specialty candies, bottled soda, and other novelties aimed directly at the sweet tooth.
Herman’s son Stan, his wife Marilyn, and sons Josh and Neal run the company, which has steadily built a loyal customer base thanks to its commitment to offering a variety of unusual products and quality customer service.
As the business has grown, so has competition. For that reason, Redstone Foods has focused on improving online customer service through its website, says Neal Rothstein.
“That’s been a strategic priority for us over the last five years,” Neal says.
Redstone also recognizes that responsiveness is a differentiator in a global market, so the company ships within 24 to 48 hours of receiving an order, and has built a dedicated sales team to ensure customers receive exceptional service.
“Our customers typically are in high-rent locations, and they need to find products that are unique and different from the mass market, where they can make their full margin and have something compelling for their customers to come in and draw them into their stores,” Neal says.s
Innovation breeds innovation
Redstone Foods’ rich history helps the business attract unique and appealing offerings that keep the business — and its customers — ahead of competition.
“With our history, particularly with Stan’s longevity and (relationships within) the industry, we’re able to find new and innovative products,” Neal says.
Redstone Foods also has maintained its nimble response to market demands so that it can bring new products to customers as quickly as possible, Neal says.
All roads lead to Dallas
Another key to Redstone Foods’ success: it’s location in Dallas, says Stan.
“We’re about equidistant from either coast, and we’re not the exact geographic middle of the country, but we’re close to it and we’re on main transportation routes. It’s really been very effective in terms of giving us exposure all over the country,” he says. He adds that because the Dallas-Forth Worth airport is a major hub, it’s easier for customers and vendors to visit the showroom.
“Our offshore customers have gained in importance with us more and more over the years. You can fly into Dallas from just about any place in Europe or Asia now, Latin America and so forth,” he says.
But the foundation of Redstone Foods is the strength of its team, the Rothsteins say.
“We’re more than a website. We’ve got a great service team who really can act as consultants for our customers, to help them with their product selection and grow their businesses,” Neal says. “A lot of people don’t realize that the person on the other end of the phone, this is what they do all day long and they can make great recommendations to help them with their businesses. Customers who take the time with us and we’ve established relationships with really appreciate that approach, that we can help them and their businesses grow.”