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Apr 30, 2019

Nearly 20 years ago Jesse Laflamme came home from college to find his family’s egg brand, Pete and Gerry’s, on the precipice. Consolidation in the egg and retail grocery industries left the company in turmoil and on the verge of bankruptcy. Despite the urging of his parents to consider another career, Laflamme, now the CEO of Pete and Gerry’s, was committed to the brand and solving its problems.

Over the past two decades, Laflamme has led a turnaround that’s seen the company grow from a struggling business into one of the country’s leading egg brands, pulling in over $200 million in sales in 2018. In an interview included in this episode, Laflamme spoke about how Pete and Gerry's not only got back on its feet, but excelled beyond anyone’s expectations.

Show notes:

2:44: Interview: Jesse Laflamme, CEO, Pete and Gerry's -- Laflamme traveled from New Hampshire to BevNET HQ for an interview that explored the highs and lows of his 20-year career at Pete and Gerry’s, his family’s egg farming business. Laflamme discussed how consolidation in the egg industry negatively affected small farms, including his family’s, and detailed the stark differences between conventional egg producers and that of small and organic ones. He also spoke about why Pete and Gerry’s shift to organic production was a “Hail Mary” that helped save the company and how the move helped win over some mainstream grocery chains. Later he discussed how he learned on the job as CEO, why never being complacent was key to the company growth, and why he undertook a major change in the company’s business strategy by partnering with organic egg farm across the country. Laflamme also spoke about surrounding himself with experienced and talented operations and marketing professionals gave the company a foundation for rapid growth and why he is vehemently fighting a PETA-supported lawsuit that alleges the company does not treat its hens as well as advertised.

Brands in this episode: Pete and Gerry's, Carol’s Eggs, Nellie’s