Issue 4, July 2012

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Supplier Diversity Newsletter

Featured Supplier of the Month: Best Maid Cookie Company










Deb Dartsch, CEO
Best Maid Cookie Company is a privately held, woman owned business based out of the Upper Midwest.  Best Maid Cookie Company is a complete cookie supplier, offering gourmet cookie dough, baked cookies, individually wrapped cookies and a delicBestMaidCookieCompanyLogoious line of brownies and bars. 

My father, C. Arthur Erickson founded the company in 1943 with one goal in mind, to create the very best cookie for the best price and that’s exactly what he did.  Best Maid Cookie Company takes great pride in serving gourmet, all natural cookies using the finest chocolate, no additives or preservatives and good old-fashioned T.L.C.

Best Maid Cookie Company CEO Deb Dartsch , President Ron Thielen and our outstanding sales team have dedicated our efforts towards the growth and success of the Best Maid Cookie Company and Sysco brands over the last 25 years.  Today Best Maid produces nearly 1 million pounds of cookies or cookie dough each week with over 50 unique flavors, available in more than 45 OPCO’s. 

We’re very excited to launch the NEW reformulated BakerSource Imperial line of ALL Butter Ultra Gourmet cookie dough.  The new “clean” ingredient deck of these formulas will nicely round out the BakerSource cookie dough offerings.  In addition to tried and true formulas, we have created four exclusive new flavors for Sysco under the Imperial BakerSource brand including, all butter Lemon Dream, Tropical Chunk Chocolate, Oatmeal Raisin Walnut and Shortbread cookie dough.

Sysco has been very instrumental in the expansion of our business throughout the years.  They are great people to work with, and the company is just so far above the rest.  With their help, we’ve become the little engine that could.  Best Maid has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Sysco Suppliers six times, most recently in 2012.  The company has also been awarded the Bronze Heritage award in 2006 and the Gold Heritage award in 2012.

Best Maid Cookie Company continues to operate as a privately owned family company, guided by the values instilled from our past.  Honesty, integrity and trust have been the cornerstone of our business that we extend to our employees, our customers and our community.  We continue to listen to our customers and develop products, while maintaining our quality standards and meeting our customers changing needs.


 “Sysco Minnesota has been doing business with best Maid Cookie Company for at least 23 years and I personally have worked with them for 20 years. It doesn’t take much to see what makes Best Maid so successful – it’s their people. They are first and foremost customer focused from the owner, Deb Dartsch, down the line. They listen to their customers and are constantly developing new and unique products. They stand behind their items with sales and marketing support, selling tools and a high level of quality and consistency. And of course, their cookies are awesome!”
Jeff Larson, V.P. Merchandising and Marketing - Sysco Minnesota



For more information on Best Maid Cookie Company contact:

Best Maid Cookie Co.
1147 Benson Street
River Falls, WI 54022
Office: 715-426-2090

Also, visit us online at or follow us on Facebook at

Deb Dartsch
Office: 715.426.2090
 John Verkennes
National Sales Manager
Office: 952-472-2738
Cell: 612-859-5469

When it comes to cookies, our name says it all - Best Maid! 



MWBE Recipe Corner







Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

2oz Baked
0097475 Choc. Chip Cookie (Baked) 2-2 oz
Vanilla Ice Cream 1-#8 scoop

1oz Baked
0097343 Choc. Chip Cookie (Baked) 2-1 oz
Vanilla Ice Cream 1-#6 scoop

.40oz Baked Mini
0097317 Choc. Chip Cookie (Baked Mini) 2-.40 oz
Vanilla Ice Cream 1-#4 scoop

Place scoop of ice cream in middle of chocolate chip cookie,
place other cookie on top. Press and refreeze.
Serve & Enjoy!


Skillet Cookie Treat

8590491 Chocolate Chip Dough 2 - 2 oz
Vanilla Ice Cream 1- #6 scoop
Chocolate Syrup 1.5 oz
Maraschino Cherry 1

Place 2 dough pucks into skillet, thaw for 10 minutes.
Press into skillet then bake at 325 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
Top with ice cream, drizzle chocolate over ice cream, garnish


Sysco Heritage Supplier Diversity Award

Sysco is pleased to recognize the suppliers who contribute so much in helping us meet the changing demands of the foodservice industry. To show our appreciation for the outstanding contributions of our diverse suppliers, Sysco presents the Heritage Supplier Diversity Award to three minority or woman-owned supplier partners each year.

Suppliers are judged for excellence across various service areas, including new products, sales growth, promotional support, service and administrative efficiencies. It’s our pleasure to recognize the suppliers who contribute so much in helping us meet the changing demands of the foodservice industry.

In June 2012, Sysco announced the 2012 Supplier Diversity Heritage Award winners:

Congratulations to Sysco’s 2012 Heritage Award Winners!

BestMaidCookieCompanyLogo  KingCheesecakeCompanyLogo  WhiteLionLogo 
Gold – Best Maid Cookie Company   Silver – King Cheesecake Company  Bronze – Sir Aubrey’s Tea Company


Sysco's Minority & Women-Owned (MWBE) Supplier Spend

Sysco partners with over 400 minority and women-owned suppliers, and each year this base continues to grow.  Diverse suppliers help Sysco meet the changing demands of foodservice operators while supporting strategic alliances that enable the continued success of Sysco, our customers and our supplier partners.

It is important that Sysco continues to utilize minority and women-owned suppliers from a corporate and operating company position.
Sysco continues to grow its purchases (Spend) from minority and women-owned suppliers each year.  Sysco's MWBE Spend for FY 2011 increased to $690 million, compared to FY 2010 MWBE Spend of $673 million.  The MWBE Spend for FY 2012 (Q1-Q3) is $546 million. 


Sysco's Supplier Diversity Registration Portal

We encourage you to continue communicating to your minority suppliers the importance of registering their company.  If you haven't done so, please remind your suppliers to register their company as a minority and/or woman-owned supplier.

An increasing number of large customers are requiring minority suppliers to present their certifications in order to count their purchases for contract purposes. 

Please direct new and existing minority and women-owned suppliers to Sysco’s Minority Supplier Registration Portal via the website:  Minority Supplier Registration Portal

The registration portal allows Sysco to source various MWBE suppliers for products of interest, when the need arises.  It also allows the supplier to upload MBE, MWBE, Hubzone or SBA (8A) certificates their company has acquired so that we have them available when needed, as well as create and/or update their company profile.

Why Supplier Diversity is Important to Sysco Operating Companies
  1. Restaurant decision makers, with whom Sysco does business, are becoming increasingly multicultural, multilingual, and multifaceted and often require "Nitch" or unique products from minorities or women-owned companies. 
  2. Minorities and women represent the fastest growth to the consumer/business base, and contribute dramatically to the revenue stream that major corporations, including Sysco enjoy. 
  3. MWBEs can offer potentially a better price for Sysco and non-Sysco Brand products. 
  4. Sysco can potentially receive quicker turnaround and better or expanded levels of service from MWBEs. 
  5. Supporting MWBEs allows Sysco to give back to the communities where Sysco employees live, work and do business. 
  6. Helps M/WBEs grow and participate on a level playing field with other Sysco suppliers. 
  7. Many key customers, including the military, national accounts and gaming customers track and depend upon Sysco's Tier 1 purchases from minority and women-owned supplier partners.


A Special Tribute to:

Al Gaylor
Vice President, Industry Relations & Diversity


 After a successful 30 year career at Sysco Corporation, Al Gaylor has retired!

Al held the position of Vice President of Industry Relations and Diversity at Sysco Corporation.  In 30 years with Sysco he also served as Assistant Vice President of Marketing Services, Sr. Director of Marketing and Director of Marketing Communications.  His responsibilities included developing sales and marketing strategies, implementing advertising and promotional campaigns, marketing research activities and packaging design for Sysco brand products.  His final responsibilities included representing Sysco’s interest with various trade and industry associations and governmental agencies.  He was also responsible for Sysco’s corporate diversity efforts, including workforce, leadership, supplier and community initiatives. 

In addition to his Sysco responsibilities, Al serves as chairman of the Board of the International Foodservice Distributors Association Foundation for Education and Research. He currently serves as a board member of the Multicultural Foodservice Hospitality Alliance, and is a member of the Greater Houston Partnership Steering Committee for minority professional services procurement. He also holds memberships in the Business Marketing Association of America, and Sales & Marketing Executives Club.  Recently Al was appointed to the National Board of The American Indian College Fund, an organization dedicated to advancing higher education for American Indians, and he also served on the business advisory team of The Fort Bend Church. He is a member of The Houston Area United Negro College Fund Advisory Counsel and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Al was recently recognized by Black Enterprise Magazine for his work in the area of Diversity Management. 

Prior to joining Sysco, Al worked for several consumer packaged goods companies where he was responsible for sales management and brand management activities. Previous Brand assignments include Post Cereals, Log Cabin Syrup, Gravy Train Dog Food, and Real Lemon Brand juice products. 

A native of Natchez, Mississippi, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from Southern University in 1971, and in 1976 he received a master of business administration degree from Central Oklahoma State University. He and his wife, Georgiana, have two adult children, (Greg and Pebble) two granddaughters (Abigail and Allison) and reside in Sugar Land, Texas.

“We would like to extend our most gracious thanks and appreciation to Al Gaylor for all of his significant contributions and leadership to the Sysco organization and in the community.”

— John McIntyre, VP Merchandising & Karen Lashley, Manager Supplier Diversity

Al, you will be missed!

For comments or questions regarding Supplier Diversity at Sysco, please contact:

Karen Lashley, Manager of Supplier Diversity
Sysco Corporation
1390 Enclave Parkway, Bldg. A
Houston, TX 77077
281.584.1484 (direct)