A Small But Tough Cookie
Writer: Sarah J. Reilly
Sandwiched between a golf course and a neighborhood, an inconspicuous brown building contains the ingredients for dozens of baked goods, crackers, and other snacks. No, this building isn’t the company’s production facilities—those are located in Joplin, Missouri. This building is the headquarters of Darlington, and the ingredients are the team.
Darlington is an international family-owned commercial bakery, providing cookies, crackers, bars, and other snacks to schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and day care centers. Their products can be found in all fifty states, beyond U.S. borders, and right here in central Indiana—from Hamilton and Marion County public schools to local YMCAs.
The food service company’s three brands—homestyle Darlington, whole grain Appleways, and zesty, flavor-packed Crave-N-Rave—provide all natural, nutritious, nut-free snacks that taste good and are good for you.
“We produce better-for-you products that kids also enjoy eating,” Ryan Hockemeyer, Senior Vice President/General Manager of Brands Division, says.
The Appleways brand was specifically created as a response to higher school nutrition standards initially created by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
“We take great pride in our ability to truly listen to our clientele, assess their needs, and then develop snack solutions that meet their requirements,” their website says.
As Owner, President, and CEO Phil Hockemeyer says, “It’s the Darlington solution to the food service problems.”
They find custom solutions for their clientele.
“We listen to customers and develop products to meet their needs,” Ryan says.
Darlington’s responsiveness to its customers’ feedback and needs ensures that products meet new health regulations and customer demands efficiently and effectively.
Ryan credits the personnel.
“We’re an agile, creative, fast-acting team,” he says. “We’re a small team, but we compete with the big guys.
The tight-knit group is “like a family” according to International Marketing Coordinator Luiza S. Faro.
From cookouts on the back patio to birthday celebrations in the basement bowling alley to yoga classes led by one employee, Darlington is a community-oriented company.
But the company reaches beyond their Darlington family, serving the larger community of Noblesville by sponsoring the Boys and Girls Club of Noblesville’s annual Bed Race fundraiser, hosting Noblesville High School interns, and donating snacks to local summer camps, church groups, and other programs.
Darlington may be an international company, but it’s a Noblesville business through and through.
Darlington is located at 8001 E. 196th Street and online at darlingtonsnacks.com.
The Noblesville Chamber of Commerce Spotlight showcases the action and work taking place behind the scenes of local businesses.