How We Started
How We Started
Darlington, formerly known as Darlington Farms, was established in 1982. In early 1983, current Darlington CEO, Phil Hockemeyer, and his food marketing company, BP Foods, took over the national marketing and sales for Darlington Farms. He helped to grow the business into different industries and gained considerable market share in the healthcare market throughout the US.
Phil Hockemeyer became partners with another investor and purchased the Darlington Farms brand in late 1995, and a network of 65 distributors was established, primarily in the Midwest and southeastern areas of the United States.
In 1997, the company found a new market with cookies that met the special requirements for school nutrition and gained traction with several large public school systems.
Between 2001 and 2002, Darlington worked hard to fine tune its formulations and add innovative breakfast offerings. This was in response to a pilot test from the USDA for a school breakfast program. Popular offerings from Darlington’s breakfast offerings included breakfast bars, and fruit strudels.
Throughout the mid 2000’s, Darlington continued its strong growth in schools and healthcare and in 2009 Phil Hockemeyer became sole owner of Darlington Farms. The company was renamed Darlington.
In 2011, the company introduced Appleways, a brand representing delicious all natural, clean label baked goods beginning with all-natural whole grain snacks. Appleways quickly found a home in school systems and daycares.
The following year, Crave-N-Rave, was introduced. The Crave-N-Rave brand was designed to move away from the traditional Darlington brand and clean label Appleways brand, and house some of Darlington’s more fun and exciting product offerings.
Today, Darlington’s product line now consists of almost 70 SKUs, three strong nationally recognized brands in Darlington, Appleways and Crave-N-Rave, an experienced management team and an energized sales force. Through the significant growth of 30 years, Darlington remains committed to its trade partners and consumers of its wholesome delicious food products.