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Brian Reichart has built Red Gold.

Brian Reichart has built Red Gold into one of the premier producers of quality tomato products. Here is oversees production with his son Colt, one of two sons who has joined the business.

Red Gold works with more than forty Midwestern tomato farmers.

Red Gold works with more than forty Midwestern tomato farmers to get the best tomatoes in the world.

Fresh pack is the busiest season of the year.

Fresh pack is the busiest season of the year when the fresh tomatoes are picked and canned during a sixty-day period.

Fresh tomatoes being washed and readied for canning.

Fresh tomatoes being washed and readied for canning.

Red Gold has created more than 1,300 jobs in the midwest.

Red Gold has created more than 1,300 jobs in the midwest.

BMO Harris has been a partner for Red Gold for decades.

BMO Harris has been a partner for Red Gold for decades and has supported the business through ups and downs.

Red Gold has expanded its product line dramatically.

Under Brian’s direction, Red Gold has expanded its product line dramatically to a range of bottled and canned tomato-based goods.

Red Gold cans more than 442 million pounds of tomatoes every year.

Red Gold cans more than 442 million pounds of tomatoes every year.

Red Gold products travel across the country and around the world.

An iconic Midwestern brand, Red Gold products travel across the country and around the world.

September 03, 2012 Food & Beverage , Finance Growth

Brian Reichart grew his family tomato cannery into the gold standard for the industry. But, when disaster struck, he relied on his family, management team and banking partner to weather the storm.

Lifelong Passion
The Reichart family has been in the tomato business for three generations. From the time Brian purchased Red Gold from his father, Ernie, he had a clear vision for the company. He wanted to produce the best tomato products anywhere. And unlike many of his competitors in California, he wanted to build his business in his home state of Indiana. “My goal was never to be the biggest, but to be the best,” said Brian.

Under Brian’s leadership, Red Gold prospered until the early 1990s when Brian experienced a kind of perfect storm.

The Perfect Storm
He had identified a critical opportunity to extend Red Gold’s manufacturing capabilities and open the door for future growth with a new facility. But, canning season, the most important time of the year for the company, approached and he needed to move fast to get the quickest return on the investment.

At the same time, Brian was working with BMO Harris Bank to restructure the company’s debt. It was a pivotal time.

Then came the accident. While vacationing with his family, Brian shattered his pelvis in a severe Jet Ski crash. It put him out of commission for a period of four months just as the business was entering its most critical season.

During this time, Brian’s family and management team stepped up to move forward with the canning. BMO Harris Bank contacted Brian immediately to ensure him that they were still behind him and willing to support the company through the difficult time. As Brian began to recover, BMO Harris Bank finalized the new banking agreement at the side of his hospital bed.

“Thanks goodness we were dealing with Harris who was familiar with food processers. We have a long history with Harris, and they know how loyal the Reichart family is to tomatoes,” said Brian.

Pursuing the Vision
Red Gold’s success during Brian’s recovery has become a key milestone for the business which now has more than doubled since that time. Today, with BMO Harris Bank as his partner, Brian’s vision is very much alive.  Red Gold is an iconic Midwestern brand, employing more than 1,300 people and producing more than 442 million pounds of canned tomatoes every year. In keeping with the Reichart legacy, Brian’s two sons have chosen to join the business and are working hard to make sure that Red Gold is producing the best tomato products for years to come.

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Banking products and services are provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. and are subject to bank or credit approval. BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC

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