Fortune Fish & Gourmet has completed the acquisition of Chef Martin's Alpine Brand Sausages, a small-batch sausage purveyor. Alpine Brand sausages are all natural with fresh loin trim and use authentic recipes from Germany and Austria, say company officials. With the new ownership, Chef Martin's will be under the Gourmet foods division of Fortune.
The acquisition has allowed Chef Martin's Alpine Brand to increase their efficiency by joining the infrastructure already in place at Fortune Fish & Gourmet. Chef Martin's Alpine Brand will still be produced at their original address in Chicago. This acquisition will increase Chef Martin's former distribution area with Fortune's fleet of more than 43 refrigerated trucks with direct distribution in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Michigan and nationally through Fortune's Flying Fish program.
"We are very excited to acquire this great company and brand. It creates an outstanding opportunity for our employees and customers," says Sean J. O'Scannlain, Fortune's president and CEO. "I am proud to welcome Chef Martin's owner Martin Wallner to the Fortune Fish & Gourmet family."
As a child in Austria, Chef Martin Wallner lived above his family's butcher shop and started working in the business at the age of four. Making sausage was a family event shared by his grandfather, father, uncles and sons. As a young man, Martin attended culinary school and worked at a restaurant specializing in fine Austrian food. A position with Hilton International brought Martin to the States. After experiencing life in several cities, Chef Martin settled in Chicago and went to work for Wolfgang Puck.
Fortune will maintain Chef Martin's commitment of using the highest quality ingredients with his original old world recipes and looks forward to matching them with the Midwest's leading chefs and retailers, say company officials. Chef Martin's Alpine Brands are available to the wholesale market and are currently sold at Treasure Island, Plum Market, Mrs. Greens, and Harvest Time Foods. The sausages are also served at restaurants including Alinea, Hop Leaf, Siena Tavern, Bangers and Lace, Lux Bar and more.
"The opportunity to work with Fortune Fish & Gourmet is fantastic," says Martin Wallner. "I've been around food my entire life. My parents owned a small meat shop in Austria and I started this company seven years ago. To partner with a company like Fortune and to be able to pass my knowledge to the operators while maintaining a stellar product, I could not ask for a better company to work with."