About the series
As 2016 comes to a close, the Savannah Morning News, Business in Savannah and savannahnow.com have selected several longtime Savannah companies and organizations that have contributed tremendously, many of them for decades, in the local business environment.
The Business in Savannah staff chose the honorees from a list of nominees submitted by local business and community members, utilizing broad criteria – from growth and success to community involvement.
Tuesday: Kirschner Furs
Wednesday: NLaws Produce
Location and hours:
We are located at the Savannah Farmers Market on 701 U.S. Highway 80 West, Buildings 49-52. We are open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.. Steven Kaplan, who responded to our questions, co-owns NLaws Produce with his brother-in-law, Jay Epstein.
How many employees do you have?
How would you describe your business?
NLaws Produce is a foodservice distributor of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, nuts, dried fruits, spices and related items. We handle a complete line of products, and specialize in hard-to-get items. We offer the highest quality and service available with multiple daily deliveries
How has your business changed over the years?
Over the years, we have added more types of products. We started as just a produce company and then added some dairy. We then grew the dairy to include local Artisan cheeses produced in Georgia. Then came spices, nuts and dried fruits. We also pride ourselves on sourcing the newest items available to chefs in the area.
What has been your biggest challenge and how have you overcome it?
Our biggest challenge has been maintaining the consistent high level of service and quality. The national and international broad-line distributors, such as Sysco and US Foods, keep heavy price pressures on us, as well as other local smaller distributors. The only advantage we offer is untouchable service and product quality.
What aspect of the business are you most proud of?
We are most proud of the employees that we have. Our operations manager, Michael Brown, was the second person we hired in 2003. He started as a driver and is now the No. 1 person in the warehouse. Kim Buchner, our office manager, and David Byrd, our sales manager, have over 11 years of service. Seventeen 17 of our employees have three3 years or more, with 10 having five years or more.
Stalwart is defined as “marked by outstanding strength and vigor; loyal, hardworking and reliable.” What is it about your business that makes it a Savannah stalwart?
We consider ourselves stalwart for realizing the need for a smaller, more personal foodservice distributor and knowing that we could fight and compete with the big out-of-town companies. We knew that there existed a need for a personal company owned by two local Savannah-born owners. We were — and remain — dedicated to taking produce off of the list of things that chefs have to worry about! Our customers can rely on our consistent delivery.
What do you hope for the future of your business?
We plan on keeping our service and quality levels at the highest for the industry. We have also just started a new business, NLaws at Home. From our newly designed website, www.nlawsathome.com, consumers can now order the same restaurant quality produce delivered to the finest restaurants around. In addition, we will be delivering gift baskets, epicurean baskets and assorted additional product.