You may never have heard of either of these companies, but if you dine out in Chicago, something you’ve eaten came from each of them. JDY Gourmet is a 40-year-old local meat company which under second-generation owner David Yourd and his wife Karrie Kimble became a leading specialty distributor, with a particular emphasis on local artisan farmers and on Spanish imports including jamon iberico, cheeses and olive oils. Their list of clients runs from Paul Kahan’s restaurants, The Purple Pig and Mercat a la Planxa to Whole Foods and Fox & Obel. In recent years, however, small importers and distributors like JDY have mostly been bought up by bigger companies, and Yourd says that if that happened, “It was very important for us to make sure we teamed up with a local company who understands the Chicago market.” Bensenville-based Fortune Seafood, which already dealt with a number of the same clients, proved to be the partner they were looking for, and Yourd and his staff will form a new division called Fortune Gourmet, taking advantage of Fortune’s state-of-the-art facility and sales force to expand their distribution of local and imported gourmet products.
David Yourd (left) and fish at a specialty foods show at Carnivale. Photo: courtesy JDY Gourmet via Facebook