ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Ithaca Hummus and LiDestri Food and Drink have partnered to create unique products for consumers across the country to enjoy.

News 8’s Ally Peters was able to visit the LiDestri Innovation Center this week to speak to the two companies about their collaboration. She met with Chris Kirby, the Founder and President of Ithaca Hummus, and Giovanni LiDestri, the Owner and Chairman of LiDestri Food and Drink.

Chris, Ithaca Hummus continues to grow and introduce new product extensions. What is the latest innovation you’ve introduced to the market? How has your partnership with LiDestri Food and Drink supported your growth?

“We have a brand new product that we’re launching just in time for back to school this year, called Ithaca Squeeze,” Kirby said. “So it’s the first-of-its-kind hummus and a squeezable resealable pouch. It’s a three ounce portion, so it’s great for kids, it’s great for on-to-go, busy families. I know a lot of the team at Ithaca knows because we’re all young parents, and so it was a real passion project designing this product, and we’re excited to get it out into the marketplace.”

Kirby adds that LiDestri has really helped his company solidify and build innovation and “forward thinking” into the DNA of their brand.

“I started with a fresh lemon, fresh garlic, very, very fresh farmer’s market product, and it wasn’t until I met Giovanni and the team here at LiDestri, that we really partnered to figure out how to commercialize that product,” Kirby said. “Today, because of that, we’re nationwide and the fastest-growing premium brand in the segment.”

Giovanni, why did you invest in Ithaca Hummus and what value does it deliver to LiDestri Food and Drink?

“The product is just superior and Chris is one of those rare entrepreneurial people who just has a fire in his belly. He kind of reminded me of myself when I was his age and it’s been just a love fest, just a beautiful combination of what he’s trying to do,” LiDestri said. “We are the assets here to be able to help them and it has been a match made in heaven.”

Chris, how has the Rochester region supported your business?

“The number one biggest asset that I think of when I think of Rochester is the people, the workforce here specifically,” Kirby said. “The whole upstate region has this family-oriented neighborhood community type feel. But Rochester specifically, with such a long history of having major multinational conglomerates call Rochester home, I think the workforce has really evolved into something very special here.”

Kirby said beyond that, they also have great partners like LiDestri and a great ecosystem for food businesses to start out.

LiDestri has facilities across the country. Giovanni, why do you continue to grow here in Rochester?

“This is where our roots are. This is where our families are. This is where our employees, they’ve been here for decades with us, so it’s an easy decision to make,” LiDestri said.

He adds Rochester has great resources, such as water, a robust electric grid, wastewater processing infrastructure and transportation, which are all critical for the food industry.

“Rochester is home. Rochester is beautiful, and we’ll be here for a long time to come,” LiDestri added.

To learn more about Ithaca Hummus, you can visit their website by clicking here.

You can learn more about LiDestri Food and Drink here.