There are several bloggers here at Cook’s. To keep it simple, I’m going to introduce the team to you in groups – so there will be more introductions next week. Here’s today’s batch:
Candace Meneou (Me): Marketing Manager
I’ve been with Cook’s for nearly ten years in the marketing role. Much of my time has been spent working on the Cook’s Correctional Buyers Guide, so I have a surprisingly good understanding of many of the products we sell – I wrote a lot of the copy in the catalog. I also know a lot about you (our customers) but it’s generalized information, because I look at all 2400 active customers at one time, and I do a lot of data work. I oversee our social media and email activities too, so I read about the industry quite a bit to stay on top of what’s happening out there that’s of interest to our customers. I have a long career in marketing from distributor to manufacturer, but this is the only company I’ve worked at that focused on the correctional industry.
Brian Richardson: Director of Merchandising
Brian has been with Cook’s for 9 years managing the Merchandising function at Cook’s. He’s got his hands in everything related to products, from sourcing new products to overseeing product development activities for new Cook’s Brand products, to pricing and inventory management. His background includes work at True Value company and some time at Solo Cup. If you’ve been to the ACFSA show, you may have met Brian. He attends the trade shows and makes customer visits so that he can meet and talk with our customers directly to get feedback on the products in our catalog, what they like, what they need – and when he’s on a site visit in a correctional kitchen, to see what it is you’re really using and how you’re using it.
Claudia Santangelo: Product Merchant
Claudia started with Cook’s in February of 2012. She works with Brian and the Merchandising team to manage our 300 plus vendors. Claudia is directly involved in evaluating manufacturers to see if their product lines are a good match to our customers needs. She also spends a great deal of time learning what’s new in the marketplace and finding products for our catalog. To say that Claudia is ‘intimate’ with the Correctional Buyers Guide is an understatement. She reviews all the products, the copy, the specs – you name it, to make sure we’ve got the right information so that our customers know what they’re getting and they can make great choices. Being that she spends so much time working with our vendors, she has a great deal of industry knowledge. The majority of Claudia’s career has been in the foodservice industry both on the manufacturer and dealer side.
Those are the first three members of our team – next week you’ll be introduced to Max Lecaros, Tim Saner, Janet St. Clair, John Yaeger & Jeff Breeden. We’ll also get into some more correctional topics to keep things interesting!