Who We Are

Who We Are

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Founded in 1984, Trailblazer Foods is one of the Western United States’ largest producers of preserves and jellies, table syrups, shredded and flaked coconut, drink mixes, Italian syrups, institutional pie filling and glazes, and other sweetener and fruit based products. The company also produces sauces, marinades, glazes and various other non-oil-based products.

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Founded in 1984, Trailblazer Foods is one of the Western United States’ largest producers of preserves and jellies, table syrups, shredded and flaked coconut, drink mixes, Italian syrups, institutional pie filling and glazes, and other sweetener and fruit based products. The company also produces sauces, marinades, glazes and various other non-oil-based products.

Trailblazer Foods is a major supplier to the food service industry, a trusted co-packer for many food and beverage brands and a private label manufacturer for many top national and regional grocery retailers. The company also markets a number of its own brands, including Walls Berry Farm Preserves and Nalley Lumberjack Table Syrups.

Trailblazer Foods offers a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility with daily capacity of more than 115 tons. The company is USDA certified by Oregon Tilth to manufacture organic products is kosher certified by KOF-K and a certified SQF (Safe Quality Food) Level 2 facility.

Family owned and locally run by an efficient corporate team, the company responds nimbly to customer needs. Clients know Trailblazer Foods can be trusted to meet their exacting standards.

Contact

If you have any questions, please contact us between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. PST, Monday to Friday.

Trailblazer Foods
17900 NE San Rafael
Portland, OR 97230
Find Us

Phone 503.666.5800

Fax 503.666.6800

Email customerserv@tbfoods.com

From Past to Present

Trailblazer Foods was the vision of founder Gary Walls, who started picking berries as a child in the fertile fields of the Willamette Valley. He worked at local fruit processing plants and canneries before moving on to oversee local berry fields and start his own small blueberry farm. As a hobbyist, Gary developed the first fruit-based syrups for Elmer’s Pancake House and from this small beginning, Trailblazer Foods was formed.

Trailblazer Timeline

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Management Team

Trailblazer’s leadership team is comprised of experienced industry professionals seasoned in providing strategic direction for quality co-pack, private-label and branded product generation, successful workforce development and product and customer opportunity expansion.

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Jeff Gleason - Quality Manager (2015)

Jeff Gleason became a member of the Trailblazer foods team in 2015 after a 30 year career in Food Manufacturing.

He received a Food Science degree from MHCC and started working in a commercial baking plant in 1984. During his time at the bakery, Jeff held various positions including Sanitation Superintendent and Plant Safety Manager.

In 2007 he moved to a Dairy Operation where his duties included Sanitation Supervisor, Continuous Improvement Leader and QA Manager.

Jeff has been HACCP trained and certified and is also an SQF Practitioner.

When not on the job Jeff enjoys family time (especially grandkids), training forgetful dogs and anything to do with a motorcycle.

Sebastian Pastore - VP Operations (2015)

Sebastian dedicated twenty of his early years to growing, building, and launching new products for one of the Northwest’s pioneering craft brewers. From that base of experience he brings a love of food and beverage, process and people to Trailblazer. Sebastian’s areas of focus include process improvement, new product development, and targeted investments in people and equipment. 

Sebastian holds a BA from Reed College, an MBA from George Fox University and certifications in Project Management and Executive Leadership from Stanford and MIT. 

James Mill - Warehouse Manager (2014)

James Mill joined the Trailblazer Foods management team in December of 2014. James adds over 20 years of experience in food distribution and logistics management. 

James has had long career in the cold storage business working for Henningsen Cold Storage as an assistant warehouse manager, and J&D Cold Storage as a warehouse manager. He also brings 3 years of production management experience. While working for Service Steel he was in charge of all military projects, planning, and execution.

Lovell Currence - Maintenance Manager (2014)

Lovell Currence joined Trailblazer Foods in December 2014 as Maintenance Manager. Lovell began his maintenance career in the United States Army as an AH-64 Attack Helicopter Repairer in 1984, as well as a Test Pilot. He is an Operation Desert Storm Veteran and Bronze Star recipient.

Lovell has served the past 25 years in various maintenance positions ranging from production to aerial mechanics including Lockheed Martin, Kellogg Brown and Root, Tyson Foods and House of Raeford.

Bill Wheeler - Director of Club Channel and Co-Pack Sales (2012)

Bill Wheeler joined Trailblazer Foods in 2002 as Director of Purchasing, Planning and Logistics. These responsibilities included management and implementation of new projects holding that position until January 2012. After the successful launch and management of many new private label projects, Bill moved into his current position January 2012.

From 1980 to 1987 Bill served as Production and Plant Manager for a national wholesale photo finishing company serving customers in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and N. California overseeing 20 full time employees. In 1988 he founded Transportation Resources Group, Inc. DBA TRG Logistics, a transportation and logistics brokerage specializing in rail, truckload and less than truckload freight consolidation.

Since 1997 Bill has worked in the food processing industry in the sauce, marinade, fruit processing and co-packing environments. His focus has been in package development, co-pack and project management, global sourcing of fruit, ingredients and packaging as well as transportation, distribution and logistics management.

Henry Catan - Production Manager (2010)

Henry Catan joined Trailblazer Foods in 2010 after a long and successful career in Food Manufacturing.

Henry began his Food Manufacturing career in 2000 and during the span of 12 years has held Food Manufacturing management positions. From 2000 to 2007 Henry served as Transportation Manager for Airline catering company serving customers nationwide. From 2007- 2010 Henry served as Assistant Operation Manager for Harry’s fresh food.

Mike Post – Director of Sales (2010)

Mike Post joined Trailblazer Foods in the Summer of 2010 after a long and successful career in Consumer Products Sales.

He is a 1983 graduate of Portland State University earning Bachelor of Science degrees in Business Administration and Psychology.

Mike began his sales career in 1980 and during the span of 30 years has held sales management positions with some of the most recognized food and consumer products companies in America such as Carnation, Eskimo Pie, Klondike Ice Cream, and Bicycle playing cards.

Josh Osborne – Controller (2009)

Josh Osborne joined Trailblazer Foods in November 2009 in his current position. Josh graduated from Linfield College in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance.

Josh’s professional experience began in 1995 with Fred Meyer’s Stores as a Plant Accountant for both Dairy and Bakery manufacturing plants. He held these positions until 2000. Josh’s experience includes product costing, financial reporting and merger related analysis.

From 2000 to 2009, Josh worked as the Controller for HBF Inc, an international company specializing in growing, packaging and selling fresh market fruit. A key management team member during the company’s record growth and profits, he developed and maintained all financial tools and cash flow models.

Derek Lohrey – Chief Financial Officer (2009)

Derek Lohrey joined Trailblazer Foods in his current capacity in October of 2009. Derek graduated with honors in 1981 from the University of Puget Sound with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, with a major in Business Administration and an emphasis in accounting.

Since 1987, Derek has worked in the food industry. From 1987 to 1994, he was a Senior Retail Accountant with Associated Grocers in Seattle Washington. In that position, he and his staff prepared financial statements, corporate tax returns, and individual tax returns for clients owning a total of 40 grocery stores. In 1994, Derek was recruited by one of his clients at Associated Grocers – Zupan’s Markets in Vancouver Washington. He served as Zupan’s Controller from 1994 to 2005. In 2005, Derek left Zupan’s to accept the position of Chief Financial Officer at the International Air and Hospitality Academy, a multi-corporation service organization in Vancouver Washington. Among the businesses operated by the Academy are a culinary school and a restaurant.
In 2007, Derek left the Academy to accept the position of Chief Financial Officer with Miller Family Holdings and Signature Northwest.

He is licensed by the state of Washington as a Certified Public Accountant.

Rob Miller – President & CEO (2000)

Rob Miller became President of Oregon-based Trailblazer Foods in April 2000 bringing more than 10 years of product development, sales, marketing and leadership experience to the company.

Since joining the company, Miller spearheaded multiple facility upgrades and acquisitions that doubled production capacity to as much as 50 tons of product a day and grown sales by over 140%. In addition, he’s built a management team of experienced industry professionals.

Miller oversees a team of 80 employees, managing all aspects of the company’s operations, including new product development and packaging; sales and market development; and customer service. Under Miller’s guidance, Trailblazer Food Products has become one of the largest manufacturers of Preserves, Syrups, Savory Sauces, Italian Syrups, Fruit Fillings and Sweetened Coconut in the West; providing the highest quality products at the best value for private-label, retail, co-pack and wholesale customers.

Prior to joining Trailblazer Foods, Miller rose through the ranks during a decade with Johnson & Johnson, holding a variety of management positions in five different consumer products divisions. He managed Sales Administration for Johnson & Johnson-Merck and then led the Walmart team for two different J&J companies, managing over a $100mm business. Miller then helped to build a new Consumer Sales organization for Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Nutritionals before being named Director of Customer Marketing for McNeill Consumer Products.

Miller holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Texas Christian University and a master’s in International Management from the Thunderbird School of International Management. He serves on the board(s) of Miller Family Holdings, LLC, Trailblazer Fruit Products, Inc. and the Portland State University Business Advisory Committee. Rob is also a member of the Young Presidents Organization, where he served as Chapter Chair.

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High-Profile Companies Choose Trailblazer Products

Trailblazer Foods supplies top-quality branded and private label products to leading grocery retailers, food and beverage brands, and the food service industry.

Walmart
US Food Service
Sysco
Smart & Final
Sam's Club
Safeway
Unified Western Grocers
ConArga Foods
Cash & Carry
Western Family Foods
Food Services of America
Costco
Boyd Coffee Company
Kroger
Albertsons
Topco