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Itaberco with Berj Ghazarian feature #133 of Together Talks

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"Together Talks" feature #133: Itaberco presented by KLS, freight company

Some Background on Itaberco

Today's edition of "Together Talks" campaign, KLS had the privilege to speak with Itaberco and President, Berj Ghazarian. We were also joined by Alisondra Peters, who manages Itaberco's Sales & Marketing departments. Itaberco, a forward-thinking company specializing in fine dessert and beverage ingredients, is always ahead of the curve when it comes to industry trends and innovations. Their client-centered approach ensures that each operation receives tailored solutions, focusing on creativity, quality, food safety, and success.


When did the company begin?

The company began in 2011.


Story of how it was created?

My family has been in the food manufacturing business for over 40 years. In 2011, my father and I saw a great opportunity to expand our family business into the dessert and beverage space. Initially focused on the gelato industry, we realized that our family’s products provided value to a larger food and beverage industry. This realization inspired us to start Itaberco.


My father, Boris, has been in the industry for over four decades, laying the foundation in the U.S. for our products. We built on this foundation and brought Itaberco to life, and I am proud to have the opportunity to work side by side with my father in this business.

Partner with KLS
KLS offers LTL and FTL for both dry and reefer transportation.
Our nationwide coverage provides companies a reliable, consistent, and dependable logistics partner to handle your trucking needs.
For more information on how we can help call our office today 708-980-0920 or reach us via our email quote request here!
What separates your company from competition?

We stand out in the U.S. flavor and mix industry through our three unique qualities:

  1. Domestic Manufacturing: We manufacture all our products in the U.S., from our facility in Maryland. Unlike many competitors based in Europe, this allows us to address the North American market's needs and regulatory requirements efficiently. We also excel in custom product development, turning projects around quickly for our clients.

  2. Quality Over Cost: We prioritize quality above all else. Our products are designed for companies that value high standards of quality, ensuring a perfect partnership.

  3. Flexibility and Innovation: We thrive on creativity and innovation, avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach. Our robust R&D team and flexible manufacturing capabilities allow us to produce custom products with low minimum order quantities, benefiting small to mid-sized food service operators.

Alisondra: We also have a corporate pastry chef and are developing a chef ambassador program to support even small businesses, offering them resources to enhance their operations.


Navigating Challenges

What have been the biggest challenges? Running a manufacturing business in the food and beverage space is challenging due to the significant upfront costs and stringent food safety standards. We are proud to be an SQF-certified facility, the highest global food safety standard. To grow a manufacturing business with these high standards from a start-up to a full-fledged business was a big challenge we had to overcome years ago.


The pandemic was particularly challenging, impacting industries like hospitality and restaurants, which are vital to our business. Fortunately, our dedicated staff helped us weather the storm, though it took years to recover.


Strategic Transition and Brand Recognition
What were your concerns about making this transition?

We aimed for rapid brand recognition. The food industry, like many others, values established brands. We invested heavily in marketing, trade shows, and networking to make a big impact quickly. This strategy was crucial for gaining traction and supporting our manufacturing business.


How beneficial was it having the guidance of your father's experience? Having my father, Boris, as a mentor and partner was invaluable. Family businesses can be tough, but we complement each other's skills. Boris is a visionary, excelling in big-picture problem-solving and manufacturing design. I focus on business development and management, helping translate his visionary ideas into actionable plans.


Leadership Growth and Empowerment
How have you grown as a leader?

I've learned that business challenges often boil down to people and processes. Building a clear vision and core values early on is crucial for attracting the right people and ensuring the business can thrive without relying solely on the founders. I’ve learned that once you have a clear vision and the right people, you can really begin to empower those around you to propel the business forward. I see my growth coming from realizing this and embracing it.


What aspect of entrepreneurship do you appreciate the most?

Watching the people around me grow is the most fulfilling aspect. Whether they stay with the company or move on, seeing their progress is incredibly rewarding. I also love to see people bring their ideas to life in a way that is sustainable and creates valuable opportunities in the market. Nothing gets me more excited than to see aspiring entrepreneurs take the leap of faith and start a new concept that our product can be a part of.


How does the company acknowledge the victories? We hold quarterly offsite leadership meetings to plan and reflect, celebrating our wins and setting new goals. Additionally, we have a Core Value Ambassadorship program, which recognizes employees who exemplify our core values, rewarding them in front of the entire company.

Alisondra: We also hold company-wide meetings to share reflections and future goals, ensuring everyone is aligned with our mission.


Ideal Partnerships and Lessons Learned
What types of companies do you view as a potential fit?

We cater to two markets: 1. specialty food service companies—bars, restaurants, cafes, bakeries, frozen dessert shops—that value quality and trust us as their advisor. 2. Specialty dessert & beverage manufacturers— bakery manufacturers, dairies, breweries, confectioners— that tend to work closely with our R&D team. Our products improve quality, provide flexibility, save time and enhance efficiency, allowing our partners to focus on their core strengths.


Share a mistake you made or a lesson you learned?

Post-pandemic, we pivoted to launch a retail product line, but it diverted our focus from our core business. It taught us the importance of staying true to our identity and our core focus. I believe there will be a time in the future where our products will be in retail locations but my lesson was that everything has its time.


What is your why?

We value meaningful relationships with each other and our community. The relationships we build are why we come to work every day. It's about creating a family-like environment with our employees and customers.


Community and Industry Reflections 

If you had a magic wand, what would you change about your industry?

I would love to fix the logistics challenges faced by the entire industry. I would love to be able to get our product to any customer, anywhere in the US within 24 hours at a reasonable price. I know this sounds impossible, but you asked if I were to have a magic wand!


Do you have a moment that brings you the most joy?

Moving into our new manufacturing facility in 2021 was a turning point. Seeing the pride and joy on our staff's faces was incredibly rewarding.


Looking Forward

We are actively seeking a distributor in the Pacific Northwest and Texas who aligns with our values and specializes in the food and dessert space. We are also excited to pursue our vision of becoming the leader of artisan flavors and mixes for the specialty dessert and beverage industry.


Piece of Advice

Surround yourself with people who care about you and your business. Empower them to do what they are capable of, and always be willing to listen more than you speak.


Interested in being featured with "Together Talks"?
KLS is booking our upcoming schedule now!
Contact us as we would love to learn your story and share it amongst our audience.
Weekly we provide 2 companies our platform to expand their reach courtesy of our campaign. Let's collaborate!!!
In Closing

KLS wants to thank Itaberco and President, Berj Ghazarian and Alisondra Peters, Sales and Marketing Managerfor today's "Together Talks" feature. Follow along for their journey with their social handles below!


Together Talks with Itaberco feature #133 - presented by KLS, Klimson Logistics Solutions, freight company

Business Resources!

Look at our new page HERE designed to provide excellent opportunities that may be of interest to you. These are a compilation from our chats within our "Together Talks". If you have any suggestions please let us know as we would love to provide more valuable insight to our community!

Klimson Logistics Solutions - Together Talks with Itaberco feature #133

*Klimson Logistics Solutions is an Industry Leading Customer Service 3PL. Our focus and commitment to our clients has us striving to be the BEST customer service 3PL for LTL, FTL, Reefer, and Drayage in the country. KLS, freight company, is a 3PL providing nationwide logistics solutions. KLS shipping services include: LTL freight, FTL freight, Reefer LTL freight, Reefer FTL freight, and Drayage. Klimson Logistics Solutions thanks you for viewing our marketing campaign, "Together Talks". If you have any interest in being featured or questions regarding your freight operations please contact us today!


Why KLS?

Our precise and reliable effort.

We handle every shipment with the exact same process. It does not matter if you move one shipment a year or ten per day, you will receive the same level of customer service from us. When we started this company, we had one goal in mind, treat every shipment like it was our own. With our vast knowledge of the industry, we understood what a customer would want from a communication standpoint. We applied that process to be the standard here at KLS. Our reliability and being able to depend on our consistency is why we have such long-standing relationships with our clients.


Our Process?

Every shipment in our industry starts with a quote. We are firm believers that time is money, thus we strive to have quotes back in a 5-10 minute reply time for LTL and FTL, any FCL quotes are at the mercy of the carriers getting back to us. For LTL we have the flexibility to quote both off of NMFC and also Density depending on the carrier. Utilizing our services, you’re allowing us to use our expertise to class your freight accordingly to ensure we are providing the best rate we possibly can.

Once a quote has been submitted and a client chooses to proceed with KLS handling the arrangement of the shipment our full process begins. We create the BOL that will be used for the shipment. If it is a new location for our system, we will obtain all the important/special details (reference numbers, contact details, shipping hours, closed for lunch, dock/doors, etc.). We meticulously build every detail into our software for all future shipments involving that location. After we have both locations built and necessary reference numbers have been applied we will tender the shipment to the carrier. We use this method because it provides us a real time pickup number from the carrier to obtain updates prior to pickup. Our staff will either email the BOL directly to you or to the shipper (at your request) the minute after the tender has been accepted by the carrier. LTL carriers require a 2 hour window prior to close time in order to schedule it for a same-day pickup attempt.

The following morning you’ll receive an email from us. It will either provide the reason the pickup was missed (driver’s trailer filled up, driver missed the close time, truck broke down, shipper said no freight, etc.) or if the pickup was successful you will receive the PRO (tracking) number from us, along with the eta for delivery. Our staff will track it throughout the duration of transit and advise if anything happens that will alter the estimated delivery date. The day the shipment delivers we will email you with confirmation and the POD (Proof of Delivery), should you require it.

Your shipment has been quoted, scheduled, picked up, and delivered. The next step is waiting for the carrier to invoice us and make sure the rate matches up. If it does, we close out the invoice from the carrier in our system and automatically your invoice is created and sent to the requested party at your company. In the event the carrier has an additional charge on their invoice “Variance”, we will never send you an invoice with an additional charge without first identifying you of the charge.

Let us repeat, NEVER WILL WE JUST BILL OUT AN EXTRA CHARGE WITHOUT YOU BEING NOTIFIED.

You are our customer, we represent you. Should the carrier provide an extra charge on an invoice, “Lift gate, additional weight, reclass, detention, etc.) We notify you of the charge via email first. Second, within that email we identify what is required should you choose to dispute the charge. Again our goal is to honor your request, if you want to dispute, we will dispute. During a dispute we will provide you updates every step along the way. Once a dispute is closed out, whether it is approved or rejected, then we will invoice you as the invoice has been resolved.

For reference, our company only had 6.2% of all shipments go to dispute in 2022 and we successfully won 91% of those disputes on behalf of our customers.

This is our process for every single shipment you move with us. We don’t cut corners, we don’t hide from difficult situations. We believe in being available, honest, and transparent. We don’t ever want to tell you that a shipment is lost, damaged, misrouted, but it is our duty to notify you the second we find out something has gone wrong. We hate to present bad news, but it is part of the job. What you can guarantee is that we will work a shipment all the way through and turn over every stone until we get a resolution for our clients.


Services offered?

Our core business is LTL and FTL. Within these options we have options for both dry and refrigerated/frozen. We also offer FCL/Drayage options. Our company as a 3PL has nationwide options and services clients across the US.


Let’s breakdown our services more in-depth

LTL: Standard and Guaranteed CFS (Imports & Exports) Tradeshows Hazmat Anything that is on a pallet can be moved LTL. Typically LTL is up to 10 pallets, but the sweet spot for a carrier is 6-8 pallets at most for an individual shipment. LTL quotes are good between 5-30 days depending on the carrier. LTL can be quoted either via NMFC or density to determine the class (we do this for you).

Volume: Anything over 10-12’ of space in the truck is the technical rule for a volume shipment. When we run a quote for you we will determine if it qualifies for volume and provide you a rate if available. Volume moves allow you to get a reduced rate for larger shipments. The caveat to volume shipments it the quotes are only valid for 3-7 days and they move on capacity between terminals. If a terminal is backed up they will move their LTL freight first before the volume freight, which can lead to longer transit times for volume moves.

FTL/Dedicated/Expedited: 53’ Dry and Reefer 26’ Box trucks with lift gate Sprinter Van The main difference for FTL vs LTL is space and transit time. For standard pallets you can fit either 26 or 30 pallets in a 53’ dry van. The other main difference is transit time, for FTL each day counts in the transit time, whereas LTL does not count the day of pickup, weekends, or holidays in their transit time.

Reefer/Frozen: LTL and FTL We specialize working in the CPG space with food manufacturers. We regularly deliver to the following locations: Kehe UNFI Core Mark DPI Wegmans Cugini H.T. Hackney Netrition HEB ALDI Chambers and Owens EBY Brown Nassau Candy Harris Teeter Wakefern NU INC Long Distribution

What makes KLS different?

There are thousands of freight brokers and 3PL in our industry. Barrier to entry is rather easy and agents or owners will often hire sales people without any intention of properly training them. It results in high turnover for many freight companies and a forgettable experience for the client. We choose to operate differently through our consistency. We truly care about doing right by our clients and prospects too. While we would love to help provide our services to every company we speak with, that just isn’t realistic. We won’t always be the right fit for every company that moves freight and that is ok. Our authenticity as a shipping company sets us apart from the competition and that is backed up by our testimonials. We also run a marketing campaign bi-weekly called “Together Talks”. We interview, highlight, and promote two businesses every week. Our goal is to grow our network, make new connections, and learn something new with each collaboration. Check it out on our website and if you’re interested in being featured reach out.

Our company also runs a year long charity promotion. Book your first shipment through KLS and we donate to the charity of your choice in your name. Our way of thanking you for giving us an opportunity to show you the KLS way and what makes us one of a kind. This entire package is what we offer to every prospect and every client. Our goal is to help provide answers that customers may have when it comes to shipping. We want to always be available as a resource and will always offer a lending hand whenever we can.

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