Chef Drew Starkweather founded Drew’s in 1995. Drew received his first restaurant job at the age of 12, and during the following eleven years, worked his way through the ranks to become head chef at the prestigious Deerfield Inn in Historic Deerfield, Massachusetts. It was here that people began to discover his all-natural salad dressings and marinades.
Before long, customers at the Deerfield Inn started requesting bottles of the dressings to take home. It was from this popular demand for the chef-created salad dressings that Drew’s was formed. Drew designed the labels himself, and produced and packed those first bottles in his own kitchen. Chef Drew’s philosophy from the beginning was to offer products that were chef-created and nature-inspired, using quality natural ingredients.
Within a year a regional natural foods distributor picked up the line, making it available to customers in hundreds of stores in the northeastern U.S. Consumers were pleased to find a dressing made of all-natural ingredients with innovative flavors, and the line quickly grew beyond Drew’s production capacity.
In 1999, after outgrowing the initial production facility, Chef Drew decided to accommodate the rising demand by assembling a new production facility in Chester, Vermont. The state-of-the-art facility increased Drew’s production capacity by 800 percent, and new distribution quickly created demand for the additional output.
In 2001, Drew’s sought and achieved organic certification for its production facility. That same year, the company introduced its line of all-natural salsas, including Hot, Medium, and Mild. In 2003, the original salsa varieties became USDA Certified Organic, and Drew’s introduced a fourth variety, Double Roasted salsa. Drew’s Double Roasted Salsa debuted at Natural Products Expo East, the premier trade show for the natural foods industry and was recognized there with a coveted “Taste of Expo” award.
In 2004, Drew’s was awarded registration by NSF International, the prestigious not-for-profit health and safety conformity assessment company, for complying with its stringent Good Manufacturing Practices.
In January 2011, Drew’s took its quality management systems to a new level with the achievement of SQF (Level 2) certification. The SQF (“Safe Quality Food”) system ensures a meticulous adherence to scientifically-based and food industry-accepted best practices in food safety and quality systems. This accomplishment was the culmination of employee training and facility improvement efforts that took place during the second half of 2010, and achieving this standard means Drew’s can confidently guarantee that its products are of the highest quality.
Today, Drew’s remains privately owned and Drew is still involved in the activities of the company. Drew’s ranks among the top three shelf stable salad dressing brands in the natural products industry and is still one of the fastest growing brands in the country. The company’s top-quality dressings and salsas are now available nationally wherever natural products are sold.