Stephanie Wagner, who owns Accellatrans Warehouse and Logistics with her mother Vicki Brown, said Ms. Foster is also one of the few female importers that she has ever worked with in an industry dominated by large corporations or men.
Like Ms. Foster, Ms. Wagner left a career in the corporate world to start her own company during the recession.
In 2008, she left a job in sales with the General Electric Co. and joined her mother in starting the company in Savannah. Her mother has 30 years of experience inlogisitics and also owns the trucking company Falcon Transport. The women added a warehouse component to the shipping company.
Once her foods made it to Georgia, Mrs. Foster learned that retailers and customers were unfamiliar with Chilean olive oil.
“I found that people don’t even know that olive oil comes from Chile,” she said.
While Chilean companies have started exporting the culinary oil in the past three years, importers are mostly bringing in olive oil from countries like Spain and Italy that are already well-known for their quality.
To help spread the word on her product, Ms. Foster has enlisted the help of web designer Bernadette Peters and public relations specialist Tania Zamorsky.
Ms. Peters owns Natural Marketing Services LLC, an Atlanta-based company that provides marketing, web and graphic design, photography and video production. The company set up Mrs. Foster’s website.
Ms. Zamorsky recently started a small public relations business, taking on Foster Fine Foods as her first client this year.
“Both of our businesses are relatively young and its been fun and rewarding working to grow them together,” Ms. Zamorsky told GlobalAtlanta.
Despite the recession and the challenge of educating retailers and customers on Chilean olive oil, Ms. Foster said she has found a terrific market in the Southeast.
“There are a lot of consumers who are craving these high-quality products,” she said.
To order products online or to see where the gourmet foods are sold, visit www.fosterfinefoods.com.