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225 Scott Street | Elk Grove Village, Il. 60007-1299 | www.edlong.com

Whenever you enjoy snacks with cheesy-tasting seasoning or dunk a chip into a sour cream dip, you are tasting the end results of a long process that very likely begins with companies such as Edlong Dairy Flavors. This century-old company produces the dairy-based flavors (cheese, butter, milk, cream) that food manufacturers use in bakery goods, beverages, dairy products, desserts, dips, dressings, sauces, seasonings, soups, and snacks. These flavors are often the "secret ingredients" in well-known food brands that deliver the tastes you love.

In 1914, a chemist named Edward Long founded the Edward Long Chemical Company in Chicago, which specialized in supplying flavors, colors, and fragrances to Midwest bakeries. The company was purchased in 1953 by Jack Bremner, who renamed it the Ed Long Chemical Company, after its founder. The company's expertise in dairy flavor technology began with Gene Rondenet, who joined the company in 1964 as its technical leader. Rondenet was a pioneer who formulated the first commercialized concentrated cheese flavor, positioning the company as a leader in snack foods.

Edlong expanded its dairy flavor offerings in the 1970s and opened an office in Ipswich, England to start a global expansion. Edlong now serves over 30 countries worldwide. Gene became a partner to Jack in the business, then sole proprietor of Edlong. In the late 1960s, Edlong moved to Elk Grove Village with headquarters now located at 225 Scott Street. Driving for growth, the company focused its development and marketing efforts exclusively on its core competency, dairy, prompting its current name. In 2002, Gene Rondenet's youngest daughter, Laurette Rondenet-Smith, who joined the company in the early 90s, became the president of Edlong, and now is CEO and owner of the family business.

"We like to say that what comes in the front door as science, goes out the back door as service and art," says Rondenet-Smith. "That's why we call our chemists 'flavorists.' Creating great taste takes talent that combines science and art, and that balance is vital to us. Just like artists with palettes, our flavorists select exactly the right ingredients at precise levels, resulting in a specific and desired taste experience."

That drive to create just the right taste comes from Edlong's intense customer focus. "Our customers make us who we are; they are the reason we exist. They rely on us to help satisfy consumer demand for competitively priced, nutritionally sound products," Rondenet-Smith continues. "Customer success, in turn, makes our company stronger, allowing us to provide jobs and be proud contributors to our community."

A Product of Matthew D. Walker Publishing, LLC © 2012