By Noah Robins, PTAC Counselor at Western Carolina University
Transylvania Vocational Services, Inc. (TVS) is a private, non-profit dry food manufacturer based in Brevard, NC. TVS is a striking example of the diligence and determination required to successfully compete in the government marketplace. Founded in 1967, TVS specializes in blending and packaging dry powder products for both government and commercial customers, all while “providing employment and vocational services to adults with disabilities and other barriers to employment.”
In 2000, TVS constructed a modern, custom-built 60,000 square foot manufacturing facility with the aim of pursuing work in the food manufacturing field. The facility is outfitted with state-of-the-art, 3A sanitary standard compliant processing equipment, with an additional 40,000 square foot off-site warehouse. In 2001, TVS began a contract with USDA to package dry milk and bakery mixes for distribution through domestic feeding programs. Success with this contract helped lead to subsequent contracts to supply millions of pounds of dry milk for humanitarian feeding in the Middle East and blended/packaged dairy shake MREs for the Department of Defense. 2009 saw TVS celebrate a cumulative milestone of 100 million pounds of dry milk packaged for USDA. TVS points to a number of factors contributing to its success in the longstanding relationship with USDA, especially “maintaining a 99.5% on-time delivery rate, which USDA has recognized by awarding TVS with its ‘Ability One Contractor of the Year’ award in 2005, 2007, and 2010.”
PTAC assistance dates back to 2003, and has included early-stage assistance with locating target agencies and relevant contract opportunities, advice on strategies for marketing and outreach to potential agency customers, researching potential product lines, counseling on negotiations for current contracts, and extensive work reviewing individual solicitations and proposals.
Most recently, TVS has continued its success with dry bakery flour mixes for domestic food distribution programs. In November and December 2014, TVS won two contracts for dry mixes totaling more than $3.7 million with the Farm Service Agency’s Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service. For more information, visit www.tvsinc.org.