By AT News Team, Jan. 7, 2015: Two classic brands of vegetarian meat substitutes that were created by Adventists were recently acquired by Atlantic Natural Foods (ANF), a small company located in the suburbs of Rocky Mount, North Carolina. ANF purchased the brands from the giant Kellogg food company for which it has manufactured these products since soon after Worthington Foods was acquired by Kellogg in late 1999.
One of the first steps by the new owner was to invite three Adventist pastors to dedicate its manufacturing facility. The pastors were more than happy to participate, the Adventist Review quoted Rebecca Carpenter, communication director for the Adventist denomination’s Carolina Conference. “They invited our participation as a way of inviting the Lord’s blessing on the new venture.”
Atlantic Natural Foods is a privately held company that does private label manufacturing of soy products. It already produces Meatless Select and Caroline’s brands. Meatless Select meets high standards for healthy nutrition and Caroline’s is a non-GMO product using only soy beans imported from non-GMO nations. They are distributed by Whole Foods, a health foods chain with 360 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, as well as three regional grocery chains in the southern U.S.; Piggly Wiggly, Harris Teeter and Ingles.
None of the principals in ANF have a background with the Adventist faith but one of the sales staff is an Adventist, Luci Sheehan, a spokeswoman for the company, told Adventist Today. “We are working to understand, appreciate and value the Adventist heritage connected with these foods,” she said.
Loma Linda Foods was owned by the denomination until it was sold to Worthington Foods around 1980. The profit from the sale provided an endowment that continues to fund global missions. Worthington Foods was one of the largest enterprises to be a member of Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries (ASI) for many years.
ANF has created a single brand from the combined line of products, the Worthington-Loma Linda brand. It continues to provide many of the well-known products widely used by Adventists in North America. It will bring out a number of new products starting in the spring.
Working with food scientists to craft products that uphold the values of health and a sustainable natural environment, ANF will likely address some of the nutrition concerns that have been expressed by Adventists over the years about traditional vegetarian meat substitutes. At the same time it has launched a Web site which already provides many recipes for dishes that have longed been loved by Adventists and served at church potlucks as well as private family meals.
Adventists are asked to submit recipes and find out where to obtain these products at this new Web site: www.lomalindabrand.com
Old Adventist favorites like FriChik and Big Franks and Kaffree Roma, continue to be sold at Adventist Book Centers and campus markets at major Adventist institutions. They can be purchased online through Amazon.com with free shipping if the customer joins Amazon Prime. ANF is also stocking them at Stater Brothers markets in southern California and three Walmarts in the suburbs north of Orlando, Florida.
“We plan to grow the traditional stable of Loma Linda/Worthington Foods canned products, reintroduce some iconic items that have been discontinued over the years, and create new and exciting items that will address changing consumer preferences,” said an ANF statement.
Douglas Hines is chairman of AFT Holdings, an international investment and management group that is the principal owner of Atlantic Natural Foods and Kelly Krause is president of ANF. Hines announced that the Loma Linda brand would continue a tradition of supporting Adventist education by donating a portion of sales proceeds to Southern Adventist University and Loma Linda University.
If you are having difficulty finding access to these products or you have questions about the products, the Customer Care line at ANF is (252) 212-9000 or you can send an Email to Customer Care at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to it at 110 Industry Court, Nashville, NC 27856 in the United States.