Mistica Foods, LLC,a newly formed, woman-owned, beef, poultry, pork and lamb processing company, began its full-scale operations. The Addison, Ill.-based company will focus on providing custom menu and supply chain solutions to foodservice and retail channels nationwide.

Monika Rose Walas, president and founding investor with extensive meat processing, sales, marketing and operations experience, established the firm in May. Mistica Foods employs 200 people at its 40,000-square-foot production plant and distribution facility, and currently serves several national and international customers.

“We are excited about the opportunity to play an important and growing role in today’s value-added protein product category,” Walas says. “We have been creating significant momentum with this newly formed company by focusing on increasing our customers’ market share as well as retaining their current market share by consistently providing innovative and on-trend menu solutions as well as cost-savings strategies.”

“From small-batch smokehouse cooking and steaks hand cut by expert butchers to high-speed in-line technology, we are focused on bringing wholesome, high-quality products to our customers,” Walas adds.

Mistica Foods is fully staffed with meat processing and food science professionals. The procurement team includes industry experts in protein purchasing, forecasting and hedging.

“By utilizing the excess capacity of our co-pack manufacturing partners, built up during the chain-restaurant boom years, we are reducing our environmental footprint by using that idle line time rather than building new operations from scratch. This also allows us to support our partners’ local economies by retaining and adding jobs created by our business,” Walas says.

Previously, Walas headed the strategic innovation team at Quantum Foods, LLC, where she found new ways to bring products to market and managed the commercialization process from concept to post-production. The name Mistica Foods was inspired by Walas’ family’s devout Catholic faith. After a deal by a purchaser to acquire her previous employer Quantum Foods failed to materialize, she prayed to Maria Rosa Mistica for protection and guidance in the role she began to pursue.