Our Story

We’re a business, a team and a family.

Philosophy

Baldwin Richardson Foods (BRF) is a true service business that offers customers a range of services, including innovation, product development, procurement, logistics, customer service and consumer insights. Our overall approach is to build long-lasting, strategic partnerships with our customers and suppliers.

This spirit of partnership extends to everyone who works here. Being part of BRF is like being part of a family. We know each other as friends, colleagues and fellow human beings, not just as coworkers. 

Continuous improvement is a core aspect of life at BRF. We believe in it and we practice it every day. We’re not satisfied with staying where we were yesterday—or even today. We’re constantly refining our processes to improve quality, speed and value. 

Our History

1921

Founded and headquartered in Chicago, Baldwin Ice Cream was a longstanding household name in the Chicagoland area with a strong consumer base. It was also one of the largest African-American-owned food companies in the US.  

1992

After Eric Johnson, a second-generation entrepreneur, purchased the company, distribution and sales grew significantly.

1997

Baldwin Ice Cream Company purchased Richardson Foods, creating Baldwin Richardson Foods (BRF). At the time, Richardson Foods was well known for its retail brands: Nance’s Mustards & Condiments, Mrs. Richardson’s Toppings and Richardson Root Beer.

Initially a retail business selling directly to consumers, the combined company evolved into a full-service retail and food service ingredient company with strong relationships with some of America’s favorite quick-service restaurants and casual dining chains.

2001

BRF entered the industrial marketplace when it began supplying ingredients to food manufacturers. Later, with the acquisition of the Industrial Products Division of The J.M. Smucker Company, the company greatly expanded its presence in this market.

Over the Past 20 Years

BRF has grown significantly in size, sophistication and capability. The comprehensive range of products and services we offer is a major reason we’ve established longstanding strategic partnerships with our customers. And as a true partner, we help our customers plan and prepare for new, emerging trends, as well as potential growth opportunities on the far horizon.