When someone asks us to describe CDN, the first thing we say is that we're a family-owned business. In fact, we're one of the few family-owned businesses left in the industry, and this shapes our culture, from the products we offer to the way we care for our customers. Every customer, big and small, is important to us.

CDN JanMurtagh ShawnDiGruccio VertBy Jan Murtagh, President, and Shawn DiGruccio, Vice President, CDNThis year, as our company celebrates its 30th anniversary, we reflect on the values, marketplace trends and evolving customer needs that have shaped the foodservice industry and will continue to do so in the future.

Commitment represents one characteristic that sets a family-owned business apart. This is our business, and our only business. We are focused and specialized, and we have a multigenerational corporate vision that is not swayed by the temptations of short cuts for short-term advantage.

Keeping current is a never-ending process for all businesses and the foodservice industry is no exception. In the past three decades, the foodservice industry has grown tremendously, because of increased consumer demand for food away from home, and because of innovative new restaurant concepts, and exciting cuisine and beverage trends. At the same time, commercial kitchens are under an increasing amount of pressure to be cost-effective, efficient, eco-friendly and food safe.

These trends continue to shape product development, because as the operator community becomes more focused and specialized, their supply chain needs to follow suit. From operator to manufacturer, the drive toward efficiency and cost effectiveness means superior customer service is more important than ever before. Every good idea for improving your business should start with listening to your customers, which makes long-term relationships a critical success factor in the always dynamic foodservice industry.

The good news for all of us is that new products create growth, and new markets multiply that growth.

One of the satisfactions of being a business owner is giving back to the community. Jan is a member of the Board of Trustees and the House Committee with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and SW Washington, which provides care and comfort to families with seriously ill children. Our company partners with Catalyst Kitchens to support non-profit foodservice job training programs for individuals in need, and Shawn serves on the Catalyst Kitchens Council.

A final trend shaping the industry that we'd like to discuss is women in business. Thirty years ago, it might have been more unusual for a mother-daughter team to start a business in such a male-dominated industry. But today we're happy to report it is not as surprising to see women at the helm. The focus is not so much on who we are, but on what we can do for our customers.