“Every day I get to celebrate my grandmother and my dad,” says Dom Biggi, 58, CEO of Beaverton Foods in Beaverton, Oregon. “What could be better than that.”

As a third-generation owner, Biggi had an impressive family legacy to maintain. And he has grown that into a company with 102 employees, a 70,000-square-foot production facility, and an estimated $28 million in annual sales.

Horseradish from an Oregon Basement

The Beaverton story begins in 1929, when Biggi’s grandmother Rose, an immigrant from Italy, began bottling horseradish in the basement of her Oregon home. Her first customer: Fred Meyer.

For more than 25 years, the company focused on horseradish. In the 1950s, under the direction of Dom’s father Geno, mustard was added. The business did well in the Pacific Northwest but struggled to move beyond its home base.

Geno, who passed away in December 2022 at the age of 94, has said that the worse days of his life were in 1974 when he spent three full days at the Fancy Food Show and did not sell a single case. Shortly after that, the company was contacted by James Beard, who was writing an article for Esquire on the best mustards in the world.  Five of the 11 top honors went to Beaverton.

A College Kid at the Fancy Food Show

Dom was smitten by specialty food in March 1988, at the Winter Fancy Food Show. He says, “I was a senior in college and decided to go to San Francisco for spring break. I met so many interesting people. I knew this was an industry for me.”

For the next 20 years, Dom was primarily a salesperson, calling on distributors, supermarket buyers, and others. He put together a network that resulted in Beaverton products, under the Beaver and Inglehoffer brands, being in almost all supermarkets in the U.S. He then learned about manufacturing, HACCP, human resources, accounting, insurance, and everything else needed to be CEO, under the tutelage of his father and long-time CEO Bill Small.  Dom became CEO in 2011. “And every day is a new adventure,” he says.

Today the company has a diversified business, with 70 percent of sales in retail, and 30 percent foodservice. Co-packing represents 30 percent of sales. Beaverton has 500+ recipes, although not all are manufactured. A 50,000-square-foot addition to the plant is planned for later in 2023 or early 2024.

“We are in a good position to grow our business over the next five years,” says Dom. “I want to make my grandmother and dad proud.”