When I met Brian Vetter, Chief Growth Officer for Tessemae’s, in 2015, he was observing and absorbing the ins and outs of long-distance cycling from helpful experts around him, who were enlightening him as to what he had signed up for by joining the three-day Tour de Fresh. The same can be said for how he and his brothers have navigated our industry since starting a business inspired by their mother’s signature dressing in 2009, a strategy which has now culminated in being named Supplier of the Year for Fresh Food for Sam’s Club.
“This award is proof that hard work pays off if you partner with your suppliers and listen to your customers,” Brian shared with me on what the accolade means. “Our mission at Tessemae’s is Simplify Food. Amplify Food. The American people are tired of ‘food fad’ chasing; our brand is a stable solution for clean eating. The deli and produce industries now have a clean-label dressing manufacturing partner to help bring fun and delicious flavors to the world.”
Russell Mounce, Senior Vice President, Fresh, Freezer, and Cooler for Sam’s Club, delivered the news personally to a happily surprised Brian while on a Zoom call with Amanda Roberts, Sam’s Club Senior Merchant of Prepared Foods, and Myron Frazier, Sam’s Club Vice President, Bakery and Prepared Foods.
“You guys have really knocked it out of the park for us. As I go through and look at the performance, it’s a really strong performance. You’re one of the fastest-growing suppliers for us today. Last year, in the pandemic, you stepped up, and you’re doing it again this year,” Russell said as he congratulated Brian and his team.
Luckily for us, Sam’s Club recorded Brian’s reaction for all to see, and the joy expressed when he received the news is something we all can utilize as a good start to our days.
With the glow of this recent honor, Brian and the Tessemae’s team are already looking to the next step.
“This award gives us a tremendous amount of confidence to take our business to the next level. We are working closely with our produce partners to find our next repack location with the goal of cutting lead times to the East Coast by three days. Our goal at Tessemae’s is to be able ship fresh produce to both coasts with less than three days of transit time,” he said. “We have our sights set on McCallen, Texas, as it is centrally located and a booming hub for central Mexican produce items.”
Congratulations to the entire Tessemae’s team on this achievement and the growth to come. Keep an eye on Deli Market News as we continue to report developments for this and other trendsetters in the industry.