PORTLAND -- If you had jelly or preserves with your morning toast, it probably was produced at Portland's Trailblazer foods. It's one of the largest private label food processors in the country.
The company is now celebrating 30 years of being in a tight jam. Any that's a good thing. Trailblazer began in 1984. It was started by Gary Wall. He produced jams and jellies and produce the first ever marion berry syrup for Elmer's restaurants.
In 2004, Rob Miller purchased the company. Today, 600 different products are produced.
Some well-known companies including Albertson's, Kroger, Safeway and Costco have their own brands made there. Trailblazer works with each company to research and develop their own special recipe.
Everything is done in house, from purchasing fruit, much of it locally, to making the product to packaging it and shipping it.
"The private label market is driven this time by NB, no national brand equivalent," noted Rob Miller, president and CEO of Trailblazer foods. "We want to make sure that every time a consumer goes to a store and buys a private label product it's as good or better than the national brand."
On a typical day, as many as 80,000 jars will be filled. The production line runs 24/4. Two labs test each product on a regular basis to insure consistent quality.
Trailblazer also produces products that are organic and a line of kosher foods.