About Bertman Ball ParkBertman Foods Co.
Bertman Foods Co.
The company was started in the 1920’s by Joseph “Joe” Bertman. He was an immigrant from Poland, and the oldest of several children. He started the company when he was in his early twenties, with a partner, and then bought him out within a couple of years. He was an old fashioned business man who could be making sales calls, loading trucks, reviewing books, or buying produce on any day. If one of his customers wanted something that he did not have available, he would go out to his garage and “concoct” something that would do the trick. There are many family legends about this.
Because he was so well respected, he expanded his sales territory from Pittsburgh to Toledo. He handled every category of food and had exclusive distribution rights to many products in the period shortly after WWII. At one point, he was warehousing many items and running 22 trucks and a team of salesmen to service his customers.
He was a friend and a mentor to many people in the food business including many well-known names from Chef Boirdi (of Chef Boy-ar-dee fame) to Vernon Stouffer. He used to say that LJ Minor got his start in a back room at the Bertman warehouse. (This was on E. 76th street between Cedar and Central)
In that period, Honor was the most important thing, and a man’s handshake was considered a contract. Joe operated like this for his entire life.
He also gave time and money to many organizations, as he was very philanthropic. He was heavily involved in Montifiore, International Food Service Executives Association, and many more. He is honored on the wall of famous people at the Maltz Museum, Cleveland, Ohio.