If you've been to a bar in Miami, chances are Noah Lesser had some say in the snacks you ate. Have you stayed in a hotel room and devoured the candy and dried fruits from the minibar? Thanks, Noah.
The second-generation owner of Hialeah Products Inc. began working in the family business during high school, packing boxes and sorting nuts. After a few years as a scuba instructor, he returned to company. Now he runs the day-to-day operations alongside his parents, Kathy and Richard. But this family-run business is anything but mom-and-pop. They offer more than 500 products, from walnuts, dried fruit, and chocolate to newer items such as grains and seeds. The company distributes nationwide as well as in the Caribbean and, more recently, South America.
"We listen to what our customers want and provide them with the best-quality bulk products on the market," Noah says as he shows me around the facility. There are nuts from California, dried fruit from Thailand, and seeds from China. It all comes into a packing facility where Noah's team sorts and repacks it into one of 50 blended mixes. Ranging from savory to sweet, the mixes carry names such as Boca Bar Mix, California Fruit and Nut Mix, Survivor Mix, and their newest: Sunshine Fruit Mix, a combination of dried fruits including kiwi, mango, pineapple, and cantaloupe. There's also the Loews Mix, which is a custom blend for the hotel on South Beach. "I show up with about 40 different ingredients and then let the chefs put their own mixes together."
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Some combos, such as Noah's favorite, South Beach Mix -- a sweet and salty mix of wasabi soy peas, almonds, peanuts, and cranberries -- are available for sale on their website, NewUrbanFarms.com.
While we were visiting, an order from a soldier stationed overseas was being completed. "He ordered a five-pound bag of pecans for his wife -- her favorite. He then called in to make sure we didn't put the invoice in there -- it was a surprise for her."
So whether you are buying a nutty gift for a loved one, planning a wedding, or need a corporate gift set of fruit and nuts, Hialeah Products is there for you.