Vice President, Food Service

Steuben Foods/Elmhurst Milked

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COMPANY OVERVIEW

Steuben Foods (Steuben) is a highly successful and dominant player in the low-acid aseptic food and beverage processing and packaging industry. Products include dairy, non-dairy alternatives, primarily nuts and grain based milks, stocks/broths, and soups.  Their clients include major food and beverage companies.  Retail clients include major grocery chains, such as Publix, Wegmans, Giant Eagle, Giant, Walmart, Stop&Shop, Shaw’s, Whole Foods.

Steuben currently has more than 600 employees and a 500,000 square foot manufacturing facility, which is expected to double in the near future. Steuben has the premiere quality and food safety program in the industry and proprietary packaging, manufacturing/processing technologies, and other intellectual property that differentiate it from the competition. While privately owned, the company has a long history of having professional managers.  The founder and CEO, Henry Schwartz, and two co-presidents run the company on a day-to-day basis. While Steuben Foods is 38 years old, it was created out of Elmhurst Dairy, formerly metro New York City’s largest milk producer.  Elmhurst Dairy was established in 1925 and was owned and operated by the Schwartz family until 2016, when it ceased operations. The company is currently developing the dairy’s 16 acres of prime, Queen’s property, near JFK airport, into a major real estate development.  Elmhurst Dairy is a subsidiary of Steuben Foods.

Steuben’s prospects for rapid growth are greater than at any time in its history. It is realizing record production levels, adding new production lines and customers, and they recently installed a state-of-the-art processing plant for plant-based ingredients, where multiple patented processes are employed to capture the full nutritive value of whole grains, nuts, and seeds for transformation into best-in-class, non-dairy beverage products, amongst scores of other food and beverage products.

In addition to processing and packaging for others, Steuben launched its own branded product in 2017, Elmhurst Milked, using its plant-based ingredients processing plant and its patented technology. Elmhurst Milked beverage products have more grains/nuts/seeds per glass, resulting in more nutrients, flavor, creaminess, and functionality than competitive beverages formulated from water and thickeners.  Elmhurst Milked beverages are also all natural, containing none of the industrial stabilizers, whiteners, emulsifiers, and gums typical of competitive products. Since its introduction, the brand has quickly scaled to 10 SKUs and is in over 5,000 retail/grassroots locations.  These 10 SKUs are in the plant-based milk areas of Almond, Walnut, Cashew, Hazelnut, Oat, Peanut, Chocolate Peanut, Brown Rice, Unsweetened Almond, and Unsweetened Hazelnut.  There are 20 additional SKUs planned for launch by the end of 2018 and it is anticipated that the store count will increase to 10,000-plus locations by that time.  The current two Peanut offerings and others to be introduced have no competitors in the marketplace. https://elmhurst1925.com/

According to a recent market research report, Dairy and Dairy Alternative Beverage Trends in the U.S., by Packaged Facts, plant-based dairy alternatives are expected to represent $11 billion in retail sales or 40% of the combined total of dairy and dairy alternative beverages by 2021, up from 25% in 2016 when dairy alternative beverages accounted for roughly $6 billion in retail sales.

POSITION SUMMARY:  

The Vice President, Food Service is a new position for Steuben Foods and will primarily be focused on developing Elmhurst Milked’s business in Food Service channels, which represents a significant growth opportunity for Steuben.  It is anticipated that Food Service will be a bigger business than retail for Elmhurst Milked.  This position will work closely with various members of the senior leadership team, including the CEO/Founder, co-Presidents, and SVP, Elmhurst Milked Sales. 

The performance expectations for this position are in the areas of growing revenues and profitability in the Food Service channel.  Travel is required, which will be extensive.  Also, the candidate must be able and willing to devote an above-average proportion of time to her/his work. 

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Play a key role, as team leader and business generator, in developing Steuben Foods/Elmhurst Milked’s business in Food Service channels.
  • Once the Food Service business has been established, the successful candidate will, while continuing to fulfill all of his/her other duties, actively participate in an Advancement Program that will involve rotating through Operations, Product Development, Quality Assurance/Food Safety, Finance, Engineering, and Business Development.  It is expected that upon the successful completion of this Advancement Program, the candidate will become part of the senior leadership team of Steuben. 
  • After successful completion of the Advancement Program, the individual will be positioned to take on additional roles and responsibilities within Steuben.

EXPERIENCE:

  • Strong Sales background.
  • Extensive Food and Beverage industry experience.
  • Excellent track record selling into the Food Service channel.
  • Strong credentials in generating new business in the Food and Beverage space.  Minimum of 10 years of experience.
  • Well-developed relationships and network with major restaurants and food service companies in North America is highly desirable.
  • Achievements as a business generator and a team leader. 

PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES AND SKILLS:

  • Comfortable with and ability to embrace frequent change and new ideas. There is unprecedented opportunity with the company particularly with the fast-growing plant-based business.    
  • Excellent skills as a relationship builder.  A natural networker.
  • Communicates effectively one-on-one, in small groups, and across dispersed employees, departments, and prospective clients, including senior executives.  
  • Strong, but respectful manner. A good listener. Strong presentation skills.  Approachable.  Acts decisively once information is gathered.   
  • Strong negotiating skills.
  • Intrapreneurial.  Can operate at times with limited administrative support, be strategic at times and tactical other times, and have no issue getting in the trenches if and when necessary.
  • A creative disposition and an ability to think outside the box.
  • Strong leadership qualities in a collaborative, team-oriented environment are essential. Leadership skills acquired in the military are valued. 
  • Self-motivated with proven ability to prioritize and juggle multiple tasks while achieving deliverables.
  • Possess personal qualities of integrity and commitment to quality and service excellence.
  • Likes to spend time in the field. Willing to travel 50%-plus and work weekends as necessary.
  • Optimistic, collegial, calm, and emotionally stable.
  • Desirous of a hands-on, fast-moving, responsive-oriented environment.   A great multi-tasker with high throughput.   

EDUCATION:                       

A Bachelor’s degree and a record of academic excellence.  A postgraduate degree is desirable.  

COMPENSATION:    

A meaningful and highly competitive package encompassing salary, performance-based bonus, 401K, car allowance, and life, long-term disability, and health insurance.

CONTACTS:              

Tom Mallory                                                                 Edward Shartar

Partner, Acadia Associates                                             Partner, Acadia Associates                                                      

TMallory@AcadiaAssociates.com                                     EShartar@AcadiaAssociates.com

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