For 35 years, Marron Foods has been agglomerating and instantizing powdered ingredients and providing custom processing solutions that have raised the industry standard for quality and functionality. Located in Harrison, New York, Marron Foods is recognized throughout the food-service industry as a solutions-based organization capable of delivering the highest level of performance in quality and service.
Matt Pearson, president of Marron Foods, founded the company in 1981 after recognizing a need for innovation in the industry. Pearson started Marron Foods at age 29 and operated out of a Lipton Cup-A-Soup plant in upstate New York. The company began producing products used in everything from beverage, soup and baking products to nutritional supplements and quickly became recognized as a food pioneer.
Over the years, Marron Foods has continued to innovate, recruiting leading scientists to assure the processing of products that meet or exceed industry standards. After recognizing better operational opportunities, Pearson decided to relocate the company to Wisconsin. “We saw the need to diversify, so we expanded into protein powders.” Through research and development in the ‘90s, Marron Foods worked to create instant proteins that made protein bars and drink mixes more consumer friendly.
One of Marron Foods’ most popular retail products is Milkman Instant Low Fat Dry Milk, a high quality powdered milk with real fresh milk taste and the convenience of a long shelf life. Milkman is often used by campers, boaters and hikers, as well as folks who live in areas where it is difficult to make regular dairy or supermarket trips.
“Milkman is an old brand that we acquired in 2010” says Pearson. “We are resurrecting its distribution as well as entering the Hawaiian and Alaskan markets. We’re also working on getting Milkman into food banks.”
Experience meets innovation
While the bottom line is always a strong measure of the pulse of a company, Pearson expresses that Marron Foods chooses in addition to measure its success by providing a safe and healthy work environment for its employees. The company also finds success through the ability to cover a major portion of the annual health care costs and provide a good benefits package for its workers. “It is very important to us to maintain profitability through growth,” says Pearson. “Our growth presents more opportunity for our employees.”
With the millennials entering the workforce, many companies are investing in research and development to discover the best methods and tactics to attract the younger generation into certain industries. At 64, Pearson has two sons that are entering the business and believes that age is just a number, not a reflection of intelligence, skill or work ethic. With numerous Marron Foods executives middle-aged or older, Pearson says that all industries can find benefits from new ideas, as well as wisdom from experience. “It’s just a matter of transitioning that wisdom from the past to future generations,” he shares. “I anticipate doing that for the rest of my life, regardless of numeric age.”
As technology increases, a gap becomes present in communication methods among different generations. With texting, emailing and social media so prevalent in the workplace, Pearson still believes in person-to-person commerce. “Sometimes people just need to pick up the phone and actually talk to the other person,” he shares. “Here at Marron Foods, we still believe in that personal touch and communication.”
Going the extra mile
Pearson does not just pay lip service to the efforts of his staff. Marron Foods has extremely low turnover due to providing a workplace that presents a family environment. With a majority of employees maintaining tenure of more than 15 years, the company’s workforce is well-positioned to extend its wisdom to the next generation, while continuing to move the company forward.
With its roots firmly planted in its community, Marron Foods will continue to diversify its product offerings and adapt to changes in the market. “We’re in a good place right now, but it’s important to stay focused and maintain profitability while preparing for the inevitable change in life and business cycles,” says Pearson. “I’m really excited about where we’re headed.”
Under Pearson’s effective leadership, Marron Foods has been guided through decades of economic uncertainty and risen as an industry leader.