Doumak Inc. began its marshmallow-making journey in 1921, producing cast mold marshmallows in Los Angeles, CA. In 1954, Alex Doumakes invented and patented the extrusion process of manufacturing marshmallows. This breakthrough innovation allowed the mass production of marshmallows in a cost-efficient manner. Marshmallows went from being an expensive confection to an everyday sweet treat and favorite ingredient for many recipes. In 1961, the Doumakes family moved the company to its current location outside Chicago. In 2003, Doumak acquired the Campfire® brand and opened its second manufacturing facility in the Chicago area.
Doumak called Zach Person -- Illinois International Trade Center, College of DuPage Program Manager -- with a problem: An entire 40-foot container of product was stuck in a Dubai port as a result of changes made to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) import document regulations. And without a new amended document, the product would have to be shipped back to the U.S. or destroyed.
There was another small issue: This amended version of a common export document did not even exist in Illinois -- until now. The document is called a Certificate of Free Sale, issued by the Illinois Department of Health, and the required amendment involved adding information from the commercial invoice to the UAE version of the Illinois Certificate of Free Sale.
Long story short, after considerable effort by Zach Person, the Doumak export department and a dedicated Illinois Department of Agriculture representative, the Illinois Department of Health was convinced to make the change to the document in short order.
“Zach did a great job guiding Doumak through the maze of various government resources and contacts. The ITC is a great source for Illinois companies that need help exporting their products,” said Tim Etzkorn, Doumak CFO.
The Doumak container has been released from the Dubai port and now their container and millions of dollars of other Illinois exports to the region can flow freely once again.
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