European Imports Ltd. is a family-owned importer and distributor founded in 1978 by Seymour Binstein. The company began as a cheese importer supplying primarily the Chicago market. In 1984 European Imports Ltd. started its foodservice division, supplying product to an extensive list of major hotel and white tablecloth restaurants in the Chicago area as well as servicing caterers and foodservice jobbers. Nationally, the foodservice business is handled through foodservice distributors with customers in Arizona, Minneapolis, Birmingham, Indianapolis, Detroit, Pompano Beach, St Louis and Texas. In 2000 European Imports Ltd. acquired Pee-Wee Imports to expand foodservice operations in Arizona. In 2001 an Arizona warehouse was opened to enhance service to retailers and foodservice segments in that rapidly growing market. Products for the foodservice division include olive oil, vinegar and vegetables in bulk, meat and game, baking chocolate, pastry ingredients and par-baked bread.
European Imports Ltd. has emerged as a full-line specialty food distributor to the central United States with concentration in the Midwest, Texas and Arizona. Expansion has been successful due to the following acquisitions:
1987Cheese and Specialty food division of Noon Hour Foods, Chicago, IL
1993Distribution business of Charlotte Charles Inc., Chicago, IL
1997Wild Game Inc., Chicago, IL
2000Distribution business of "Life in Provence" label
2000Pee-Wee Imports, Phoenix, Arizona
2001Raisin River Fancy Foods, Chicago, IL
2003Classic Gourmet Inc, Atlanta, Georgia
European Imports Ltd. offers a monthly preorder program to ensure the availability of perishable specialty cheeses. These are the types of cheeses that can make any store unique in its marketplace. European Imports Ltd. has converted 2,000 square feet of its warehouse into a cheese-cutting and wrapping facility. Keeping up with its traditional philosophy, European Imports Ltd. offers an extensive variety of quality pre-cut and wrapped cheeses from around the world. With the 1997 acquisition of Wild Game, European Imports Ltd added 500 specialty and exotic meats such as venison, lamb, game birds, fresh mushrooms and herbs. Originally geared toward the foodservice trade, growth in this segment includes retail packaged products for the freezer and unique charcuterie products.
European Imports Ltd is one of the few distributors to carry the expanse of both perishable and shelf stable specialty foods for the retailer and foodservice professional. Product lines include: imported and domestic specialty cheese, exotic fresh meat and game, salami, pate and seafood, fresh mushrooms and herbs, retail and baking chocolate, par-baked bread, pastry ingredients, non-alcoholic beverages, cookies, crackers, breadsticks and wafers, pasta, oil, vinegar, condiments and snack foods and much more. In 2000, European Imports Ltd. acquired the license to the "Life in Provence" line of French specialty foods. Growth of this line will extend into more categories while preserving the concept of the Provencal way of living. Lines from countries associated with "Epicurean Delicacies" include Amber Valley from England, Cocina Selecta and Costador from Spain, Cucina Viva and Crespi from Italy and Airborne Honey from New Zealand.
In addition, product category managers specializing in key areas of cheese, game and pastry are available to increase product knowledge, assist with product selection and training. The European Imports Ltd. marketing program is designed to provide merchandising support to fit the needs of the retailer.
European Imports Ltd is not just selling product, but more importantly service. Customers receive the same personal attention today as when the company was founded. Its goal is to adjust to the ever-changing needs of the specialty food industry, stay current on culinary trends and continue to improve quality, service and dependability. A full-color catalog featuring over 6000 products is available upon request.European Imports Ltd. continues its pledge to: