Roland Foods' Founder, Bruno Scheidt, established his reputation early on as being an honest, relational and dependable businessman. His own experience as a refugee led him to create a welcoming space for other refugees and immigrants as employees of Roland Foods.
1934 Bruno’s French business card
Bruno fled Germany to France to escape the Nazis and founded a new food company, Établissements Roland, in Paris. The name was inspired by a well-known poem in Germany and France about the Knight Roland, King Charlemagne’s right-hand man who sounded the horn when trouble was near. The intentional cross-cultural reference was the first of many decisions Bruno made that led to Roland Foods’ growth into a truly international company.
1936 Roland Foods’ Founder, Bruno Scheidt, and his wife, Suzanne
Bruno met and married the love of his life, Suzanne. She became not only his partner in life, but his partner in business as well.
1939 The Scheidts leave for America
When the winds of war began to blow, Bruno and Suzanne decided to leave France for America, bringing with them some of their close relatives. Bruno maintained contact with his suppliers in Europe as he and Suzanne transitioned to the States.
Having already traveled to several other countries, Bruno remarked that, upon arriving in America, he was struck that the signs welcomed immigrants in their native languages. Every other country’s welcome signs were written only in the local language. Bruno spent his commutes to the office learning and practicing his English.
1939 Bruno begins importing after 1 month in America
Within a month of arriving in America, Bruno identified a market for dried mushrooms and began importing them from his original supplier in France. To this day, Roland Foods has maintained their relationship with this supplier—an impressive 80-plus years!
As World War II raged on, Bruno focused his efforts on the domestic market, but as soon as it came to a close, resumed his import business. He hired Roland Foods' first employees, including George Winkel and Kurt Lang, who became a critical part of expanding the company's reach. Together, they focused on importing hard-to-find European and Asian products.
1942 Bruno registers American Roland Food Corporation
Bruno and Suzanne set up their first office in America in the modern-day Tribeca neighborhood in Manhattan. They pushed together two wooden desks in their tiny space. Suzanne served as bookkeeper while Bruno focused on sales and business development.
Following Bruno’s untimely death, Bruno & Suzanne’s son, Charlie Scheidt, took over leadership of the Company. He led Roland into the foodservice space, building rapport with chefs and restaurant operators seeking specialty ingredients.
Roland Foods became one of the first importers to computerize its business. The company began exporting food to the Caribbean, and rapidly growing its list of inventory.
Roland Foods outgrew its warehouse facilities three times and launched rolandfoods.com. The company expanded to its current, state-of-the-art main warehouse.
Roland Foods expanded into China, the U.A.E. and South America. In 2012, the company opened a cutting-edge Quality Assurance lab in their Dayton facility amplifying their food safety and quality assurance capabilities. In 2013, Vestar Capital Partners acquired majority interest in Roland Foods, and appointed a new CEO in 2014.
Roland Foods continued to forge relationships with suppliers and expand its product catalogue offering to over 1,500 products. The company also continued to commit time and in-kind donations to local foodbanks and culinary scholarships, carrying on a long tradition of corporate citizenship.
2012 Roland Foods’ Quality Assurance Lab
Roland Foods opened an enlarged, cutting-edge Quality Assurance lab in their Dayton facility.
Vestar acquires majority interest in Roland Foods.
2014 Jim Wagner, CEO of Roland Foods
Jim Wagner was appointed CEO of Roland Foods in 2014 and Charlie Scheidt remained chairman.
2016 Charlie Scheidt
Charlie Scheidt is included in the Specialty Foods Association Hall of Fame.
2016 Roland Foods’ award-winning packaging
In 2016, Roland Foods’ Creative and Marketing team won six Graphic Design USA Awards for marketing collateral and packaging.
2016 Roland Foods’ award-winning packaging
Roland Foods moved its corporate headquarters and opened a Roland Foods warehouse in Dubai.
2017 Roland Foods’ corporate office in Manhattan
Roland Foods moved its corporate headquarters into a two-floor, state of the art open-plan office.
2017 Roland Foods’ new logo
In November, Roland Foods unveiled a new logo and newly designed website that drew inspiration from its company history. Steeped in the founder’s vision and values, the updated corporate image represents the innovative and future opportunities for Roland Foods.