February, 1998

Special Note

Born Again, A Special Note By Jim Prevor

These are the moments in which everything changes, unalterably, forever. This is such an instance for this magazine – popularly known as FDM – is a venerable magazine steeped in 40 years of heritage, but today, with the issue you hold in your hands, this magazine is born anew.

FDM has survived and thrived in peacetime and through times of hostilities. It has published in prosperous times and lean times. It has enjoyed great success and known the disappointment of unmet goals. It has chronicled the life and times of the specialty food industry and the people who built it. It is, above all, like the industry of which it is a part, a survivor.

Today, however, a new chapter begins, and echoing the words of a Nobel laureate whose distinctive southern style echoed the regional nature of many special foods, we enter a stage, whereby, infused with energy and intellect, this magazine, FDM, shall not merely endure but shall prevail.

Prevail in fulfilling its obligations to further the interests of the industry this magazine is such an important part of.

A team steeped deeply in the food industry recently acquired FDM. When my great-grandfather, Jacob Prevor, came to the United States at the turn of the century, he set up a produce distribution company in the old Wallabout market in Brooklyn and so continued in the food business as his forefathers did for generations untold back in Europe. My grandfather, Harry Prevor, continued in the tradition, as did my father Michael.

As the business expanded, my family opened supermarkets in New Jersey and Puerto Rico (Later sold to Waldbaum’s and Pueblo respectively) and was to ship produce, deli, and dairy products, and specialty foods of all types to businesses around the world.

When I worked in my family’s business I felt, acutely, how much more effective business people would be if they could have access to better information and analysis. In the fullness of time, I left my family’s business and, working with Ken Whitacre, now publishing director of FDM, launched PRODUCE BUSINESS magazine. That once little magazine, created with little more than determination and a dream, has grown to be, by far, the largest and most successful magazine in the produce industry. Great oaks from little acorns grow, and that one magazine led to launches and acquisitions. First , there was AMERICAN FOOD AND AG EXPORTER magazine, today the leading food export publication, and then DELI BUSINESS magazine, which dominates the deli/retail foodservice industry.

Now there is FDM. I suppose that many would say that our network of publications, with full-time personnel in seven states, an extraordinary team of skilled professionals, massive computer firepower, and a research database of unique quality, will now help FDM to a new higher level of service.

I suppose this is all true, but what will really bring FDM to new and higher levels of achievement is that the team producing this magazine knows the agony and ecstasy of building a business, of sweating to meet a payroll, of seeing a dream so clearly, and the inestimable frustration of finding that it is just out of reach. We also have known that unfathomable joy of creating something of great value.

For the specialty food industry has been built on the sweat and the exhilaration of those who toil within it. And in less than a single lifetime, an industry has been born and grown. Today, in fact, the new FDM, is both a consequence of, and leader in, the changes sweeping this industry.

For a trade that was once highly regional is now national. A fragmented distribution system is being painfully rationalized while retailing is fragmenting. A business always heavily populated with entrepreneurs with a product and a dream now finds these entrepreneurs armed with computer power able to handle business unthinkable just yesterday.

To those who do not really understand, a magazine is but paper and ink, or a bundle of circulation statistics, perhaps some articles or ads strewn together with a little style. But a great magazine is none of these things. In fact, a great magazine cannot be willed into existence; it arrives, when the time is ripe. Like a morning glory bursting into bloom when its moment arrives.

So, a new FDM has arrived. It is reborn today because an industry has summoned it to being, and this magazine is consecrated to a new level of service and enlightenment. FDM’s traditional strength as a voice for distributors and importers is augmented as it seizes its rightful place as common ground for the specialty food industry. It has been, and always will be, a venue for an industry to think well and hard, to remember its past and build its future.

The specialty food industry has always been, virtually by definition, receptive to a new idea. Products and people, certain to encounter fierce resistance in another segment of the business, are welcome and thrive in the specialty food arena. So, in one sense, this magazine will echo the industry of which it is a part and open itself to every grand idea this industry can conjure. Yet, FDM does more than that. Read our pages and see the very processes of an idea congealing.

There is new ownership at FDM, but an individual or a corporation can never really own a magazine. Our pages live because you give them life by transforming paper and ink into real displays, products, and productive businesses. If you need help finding suppliers or customers, don’t hesitate to call us. If you need data and information, please let us know. If we can make FDM more useful or valuable, if we can better serve this specialty food community, please give us guidance. We are FDM; we stand as partners to the specialty food industry. We stand resolved that this trade matters, that it is both glamorous and substantive. We undertake to work diligently to build a stronger trade.

Archaeology is done in layers, and great cities of the modern age often rise on the foundations of cities built long ago. So a new FDM arises, drawing strength from its past, but resolutely a part of a future yet to be written. Keep reading folks; we’ll be writing the future right here in the new FDM.      fdm