A long and healthy history with deep, strong roots in the global botanicals industry.
IBI has been around for a long time. When Victor Cordovi arrived in the United States on a boat in 1943, he knew he wanted to be a bridge between his native Bulgaria and importers in the new land of opportunity. First, however, he needed to serve his new country, and he immediately volunteered to the Office of Strategic Services which eventually became the Central Intelligence Agency. After several years of world travel he settled back in New York and began working in the spice industry and in 1953 formed his own company, then known as V.A. Cordovi Inc. selling spices and medicinal plants mainly from eastern Europe. Until the time of his death in 1994, Victor was an active, well-known and respected member of the industry.
Dick Ahrens knew Victor from the time he began at McCormick & Company in Baltimore in 1963. Working his way up through the ranks, Dick quickly found his passion in purchasing spices and traveling all over the world to exotic places many will never see. Dick’s extensive travel has earned him a reputation for being extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of the spice industry from the point of collection to final processing. By the time Dick left McCormick in 1981 to join IBI, he and Victor had a very long relationship and Dick’s purchasing experience would prove invaluable in service to his suppliers as well as his clients. Today celebrating 50 years in the industry, Dick still thoroughly enjoys world travel and visiting friends around the globe.
Like his brother, Don Ahrens was a spice kid. Being younger than Rich, Don was able to travel very extensively with his father and get tons of first hand experience years before he would actually enter the industry. After graduating from Syracuse University, Don began a purchasing career for the outdoor industry and worked for several large national and international companies. When he chose to return to his roots, Don came with credentials and experience that help him everyday with sourcing, logistics, product and inventory planning. While Don never was fortunate enough to work directly under Victor, he has been thoroughly indoctrinated in the Cordovi school of thought and ethics.