Bringing exceptional food products to Guam’s chefs is the aim of Lynn M. Habeck president and Katherine V. Matos vice President of Pacific TradeLink Inc. “To create really exceptional food chefs need top-quality ingredients. They are not always available here ” Habeck said.

In November 2004 Habeck and Matos formed Pacific TradeLink. With more than 25 years of experience in food service and business the two combined $25 000 with the desire to improve the island’s fine dining experience. Habeck said really good food encourages tourism. With suppliers in Australia Italy and the U.S. the company provides specialty items that some of the island’s larger distributors might not carry.

The company first started distributing the Libbey food service line of products to hotels. Habeck said despite the lack of marketing since the end of September (?) there is fast-growing interest in the food commodities line. “Several major hotels have already indicated interest ” she said.

The company distributes antipasto pastries chocolates cheeses and meats to Guam’s hotels and restaurants. Pacific TradeLink also carries an array of tableware food service items china and furniture. Habeck said the company met with different hotels and offered product sampling and now the orders are rolling in.

Additionally according to Matos in just a little while people in the community will be able to find these products in local stores “We’ll be doing in-store tastings and displays in all seven Pay-Less Supermarkets.”

Matos said the demonstrations are also aimed to educate. “A lot of times you see ingredients in a store but don’t know how to use them. With the demos we can show you how to incorporate the little things into your cooking. For example we can show you how to prepare a really nice pasta dish. Lots of people don’t have the opportunity to travel and don’t get a chance to sample [flavors] from the rest of the world. We’ll bring it to them.”

Pacific TradeLink Inc. is woman-owned and General Services Agency-approved for military sales and should be receiving 8(a) certification shortly. Matos who is Chamorro said women need to play a bigger role in Guam’s business community. “It’s time for Chamorro women to step up. We have so many resources on Guam and so many opportunities. The Small Business Development Center at the University of Guam is a wonderful resource. They gave us a lot of guidance offered classes and helped us with our business plan.”

The company is a small business with only three employees. Pacific Tradelink is located in Tiyan adjacent to the Continental Airlines hangar.

Habeck hopes Pacific TradeLink will set an example. “I’d like to see us succeed in becoming examples to the young girls of Guam. We need to see more local talent.”

Habeck spent more than15 years as a real estate agent. More recently she tried her hand at business development helping companies in Taiwan and Canada establish business relationships. “This really is the first business of my own ” she said

Matos spent years in the food service industry. “I was working as a brand manager (servicing) the military. I ran fourteen stores with close to 600 lines. Prior to that I was in California working for Fleming Foods processing orders for Safeway Lucky and others. That’s how I got involved in the food industry. That’s when I realized that food distribution was my niche. That was something I was good at.”

Besides making it through their first year Habeck and Matos are celebrating other milestones. Habeck said “We expect by year’s end to pass $100 000 in sales. We’ve rolled all of the profit back into the company.” She said the duo agreed to help ensure the company’s success by not drawing salaries for the first year.

Habeck pointed to the relationships the company built with suppliers. She saidthat doing business with Australian supplier Heaven’s Kitchen is a coup. The company creates high quality gourmet frozen cakes. “Other companies here have been trying to get them for over two years. We negotiated for six months. We are the first company to get them to export internationally.”

The company has also set up a Web site at The pair predict tremendous growth both for Pacific TradeLink and Guam. In the next year they intend to introduce even more food lines triple sales and hire more local talent. Habeck said their goal to become Guam’s hotel and restaurants one-stop shop.

Matos said that knowing what their customers need is their advantage. “Everything we sell we use in our own homes. Our pricing is fair and we are consistent. I’m sure that the quality we like in our own homes is no different than what others expect.” MBJ