USA: Stearns & Lehman, Inc. Holds Annual Shareholders Meeting, Elects New Board Member

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Stearns & Lehman, Inc. (Nasdaq: SLHN), a multinational manufacturer and distributor of world-class specialty flavoring syrups, smoothies, granitas and other specialty beverage products conducted its annual Shareholder's meeting today and looks for continued success.

William C. Stearns, CEO presided over the meeting held at Corporate headquarters in Mansfield, Ohio this morning. Quorum was present and business matters were conducted. First topic of business included the proposal to increase the number of Board of Directors from four individuals to five to meet anticipated audit committee requirements once the Company exceeds its SEC Small Business reporting exemption. The five members voted to fulfill the next term on the Company's Board of Directors include William C. Stearns, Frank E. Duval, Sally A. Stearns, Carter F. Randolf and Bud Vetter.

After the regular meeting was adjourned, Mr. Stearns introduced key individuals in the company. Among those introductions included the announcement that Mr. John Ludwig will be joining the company as National Sales Manager on Oct. 23, 2000. Mr. Ludwig has been in the food service industry for 21 years, the last 15 of which have been with Ocean Spray Cranberries.

The Company looks to continue its growth through the possibility of pursuing acquisitions and global manufacturing opportunities. Mr. Stearns, commenting on acquisitions said, "as we continue to review expansion through acquisitions, we realize that in the short-term, acquisitions may not reflect accretive short term results. Rather, we are looking for the long term rewards along with both short and long term strategic value." The Company's most recent acquisition of Oscar Skollsberg's Food Technique Limited of Vancouver, British Columbia occurred in October 1999.

Continuing the success of global expansion, Mr. Stearns discussed three new international customers including UDV, Tate & Lyle Sugars and Coffee Republic. UDV (United Distillers & Vintners) owns a portfolio of the world's leading spirits such as Smirnoff, Baileys, Johnnie Walker and Gilbey's. The Company recently participated in an operational testing period introducing the application of the Company's Palm Bay Club(TM) Real Fruit Smoothies and UDV's Smirnoff Vodka and Bailey's Irish Cream Liqueur. Both companies have been extremely pleased with the market tests and are both currently working on the operational roll out of this application. Secondly, the Company will be providing flavoring syrup through a private label account for Tate & Lyle Sugars, beginning with production of the first order valued at over $200,000 during the later part of the Second quarter of the current Fiscal year. The Company also looks to Tate & Lyle as a potential supplier of raw sugar. The third customer, Coffee Republic, is a Retail Coffee Company in the United Kingdom. Product offerings reflect the Company's goal to provide a variety of specialty beverages worldwide.

The Company's stand to become a total beverage solution will continue to evolve with the plan to introduce new products. Among those items currently slated for development include chocolate and caramel sauces for the specialty food and beverage industry.

Stearns & Lehman, Inc. is engaged in the business of developing, manufacturing and marketing specialty food products, including coffee and espresso flavorings, syrups, oils and toppings, extracts, flavorings, dressings, specialty sugars and specialty frozen beverage products. The Company's customer list includes a number of America's top specialty coffee retailers and restaurants. Stearns & Lehman sells its products throughout the United States and in over 16 foreign countries, including Australia, Bermuda, Canada, China, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom.

Except for the historical information herein, the matters set forth in this press release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially. These risks are detailed in the Company's period reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. The Company disclaims any intent of obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

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