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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Oct. 20, 202105:10 AM EST

Jacksonville-based Darifair rebrands as Rubix Foods

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The company founded and run by the Block family says the branding reflects its evolution as “as a full-service problem-tackling partner.”

Jacksonville-based Darifair Foods has become Rubix Foods.

Darifair announced the new name and brand identity Oct. 20.

Rubix Foods CEO Andy Block

“Our size and structure allow us to solve dynamic challenges – from research to rollout – in a smart and nimble way, pertinent for the fast-moving 21st century food world,” said CEO Andy Block in a news release.

“Fittingly, we wanted a new name that was unique and ownable, that was easy to remember and that honored the legacy of the Block family founders.”

The Rubix identity went live Oct. 20 and will appear on Darifair’s 50,000-square-foot corporate headquarters and innovation center expected to open in early 2022.

The new headquarters in Flagler Center is about 10 miles from the company’s current headquarters at 4131 Sunbeam Road in Mandarin, where it occupies a 13,500-square-foot office building.

The company describes itself as a “culinary and food science-focused provider of flavor and functional ingredients for restaurants and food manufacturers.”

The new Rubix Foods logo.

It said the company has evolved beyond its dairy roots to serve business-to-business customers “in a full spectrum of food solutions.”

“When Darifair was chartered in 1985, it was the first truly nationwide supplier of dairy products and soon became the nation’s largest producer of portion-controlled private label sour cream – the one-ounce restaurant condiment packets often in bright blue coloring with which so many people are familiar,” said the Oct. 20 release.

Darifair’s online history says that in 1948, Aaron Block and Aaron Lapin co-founded Reddi-wip in Jacksonville.

Lapin, in St. Louis, invented Reddi-wip and Block became the Southeast manufacturer and supplier.

Andy Block said at the Oct. 27, 2020, groundbreaking for the new headquarters that the family has a rich history in food innovation, “stretching back to the 1940s when Aaron Block co-founded Reddi-wip in Jacksonville, Florida.”

According to the Oct. 20 release, the Rubix Foods logo features bright blue type as a reference to the company’s historic branding, complemented with an orange block in a nod to the Block family, which founded the company and has operated it for four generations.

The release said Rubix’s expertise is as “a full-service problem-tackling partner across the gamut of culinary, scientific, marketing and logistics challenges.”

“While we are definitely focused on the long-term picture of foodservice and manufacturing, we are also keenly aware of the current circumstances facing our customers, including supply chain interruptions, labor shortages and economic pressures,” Block said in the release.

“More than ever, customers see the value of a comprehensive brain trust such as Rubix Foods in helping them track trends, explore new flavors and leverage ideal ingredients, all steered by our hands-on team at unparalleled speed.”

Darifair has been based in Jacksonville since it was founded in 1985.

The company's previous logo.

The Block family partnered in 2019 with private equity firm the Arbor Investments private equity firm to expand its opportunities.

The Darifair headquarters and center are under development at 13203 Flagler Center Blvd. in the Flagler Center office and industrial park south of Old St. Augustine Road between Interstate 95 and Philips Highway.

At the groundbreaking, Andy Block called it a new era for the company.

“The Darifair we know today is completely different than the one we started 35 years ago,” he said in a news release at the time.

The new headquarters will house functions that include marketing, sales, customer service, R&D, finance, supply chain and IT.

An artist's rendering of the new Rubix Foods headquarters in Flagler Center with the new signage.

It will include new offices, “socially distanced workstations, spacious meeting rooms, and a large rooftop entertaining area,” the release said.

The release said the Innovation Center’s research and development lab features a working test kitchen and separate show kitchen, a pilot plant, a quality control lab and an integrated sensory and market research department.

Block said at the groundbreaking the building will enable the Darifair team and customers to develop and test product-specific applications.

Darifair Foods has been producing and supplying dairy products such as creams, cottage cheese, yogurt, fluid creamers, milk, ice creams, yogurt smoothies, sauces and other dairy products to clients in the U.S.

At the time of the groundbreaking, Darifair had 58 employees and the company said it plans for growth and will be hiring. Rubix now has a workforce of more than 65.
 

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