Case Studies Region: Northeast

Kelly Saad – Vistar

Est. reading time: 5 mins

What doesn’t beat you only makes you stronger. Sure, it’s a cliche but at least in Vistar’s case, Kelly Saad says it applies. “We’re an even stronger organization now than we were before COVID-19,” she tells Blueprint in September. “We’ve learned a lot of lessons, including how to do more with less.” As president of […]

Michael Lessing – Lessing’s Hospitality Group

Est. reading time: 3 mins

Michael Lessing may not be able to share every meal with his family, but he has had the opportunity to work with some of them for the past four decades. He’s in the fifth generation of the family that’s been running Lessing’s Hospitality Group for well over a century. The New York-based food service management […]

Benjy Adler – The Skinny Pancake

Est. reading time: 4 mins

It began as a summer job for Benjy Adler. With some help from his brother, Jonny, he cobbled together a cart from old floorboards gleaned from their parents and mounted it on a sailboat trailer. The Skinny Pancake sold its first crepe at the Church Street Marketplace in Burlington, Vermont, on June 4, 2003. A […]

Jean Swoope – The Coffee Tree Roasters

Est. reading time: 4 mins

When Jean Swoope became the president and owner of The Coffee Tree Roasters, she had a few ideas for change. Her late husband, who started the business with his father in 1993, had been consistent in how the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, coffee company had operated. Without disrespecting his legacy, Swoope added her own touch. “He did […]

Eli Cayer – Urban Farm Fermentory

Est. reading time: 4 mins

In 2020, when most people were staying indoors because of COVID-19, Eli Cayer was going deep into the Maine woods. He wasn’t trekking out there to avoid crowds, though. He was looking for ingredients. As the founder and president of Urban Farm Fermentory, he forages for fruits, herbs, plants, fungi, roots and more to create […]

Ken Taber – The Hole in One Group

Est. reading time: 4 mins

When Gaetano “Tom” Bazzano bought The Hole in One Bakery in Eastham, Massachusetts, in 1989, it allowed him to express his love of food and community on Cape Cod. In 1992, Bazzano and his family bought a shop in Orleans that became a restaurant serving breakfast and lunch. Then, in 2001, they acquired Fairway Restaurant […]

Lance P. Stier – Nassau Candy

Est. reading time: 4 mins

Having honed his business acumen in private equity, Lance P. Stier learned early how to hedge bets. There’s always risk in mergers and acquisitions, but diversification generally stands the test of time, he says. In 2009 he brought that mindset to the family business, Nassau Candy, then primarily a Long Island-based wholesale manufacturer and distributor […]

Keith Dougherty – Roland Foods

Est. reading time: 4 mins

For Roland Foods to continue being successful, CEO Keith Dougherty says the company needs to remember where it came from. At the same time, to stay competitive in the market, some things have needed to change. “The brand has great heritage, but needed a refresh for 2021,” he sums up. Roland Foods, an international food […]

Justin Pelletier – Nashoba Valley Winery & Spirits

Est. reading time: 4 mins

As Nashoba Valley Winery & Spirits grows, so do the New England farms where it procures whatever fruits and vegetables not produced on its 50-plus fertile acres in north central Massachusetts. With near record rainfall in July followed by a hot humid August, there’s been a bumper crop of peaches, a ton harvested on premises […]

Vincent Petryk – J.P. Licks

Est. reading time: 5 mins

Growing up in the working-class town of Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, Vincent Petryk remembers the pain of being bullied. It started in the third grade, with kids calling him homophobic names he didn’t understand and having his schoolbooks thrown in the river. By the time he entered high school, he would often be roughed up on […]

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