After exceeding $50 million in revenue in 2015, Verde Farms, a leading supplier of grass-fed, grass-finished beef for both retail and food service, invests in the company’s next phase with the hires of two food industry veterans to the leadership team. Guiding the sales and marketing divisions, Joe Koch has joined the company as Vice President of Sales, and Pete Lewis has joined as Vice President of Marketing. Both are newly created positions and happen in tandem with additional hires that have doubled the company size. Koch and Lewis will report directly to Co-founder and CEO Dana Ehrlich and will be key drivers in Verde Farms’ growth strategy.
Well established in the food industry, Koch, who has a background in sales, trade marketing, and category management brings more than 20 years’ experience with consumer brands in highly competitive categories. He previously led the sales teams at Harry & David and Dole Fresh Vegetables, along with stints at Frito Lay and Kraft. Koch joins Verde Farms as the company prepares to launch new product lines which will introduce Verde Farms’ grass-fed beef to a new audience of conscious consumers. As Vice President of Sales, Koch and his team will be responsible for increasing distribution of the entire portfolio in wholesale and foodservice channels nationwide.
With a passion for the natural, organic and better-for-you food and beverages, Lewis is an accomplished marketer with extensive experience in the food industry. Of his 22 years working with consumer brands, Lewis spent eight years growing Stonyfield Farms’ presence in the organic dairy market. He also led the marketing teams at Lightlife Foods, Backyard Farms, and Jasper Wyman & Son. Lewis brings to Verde Farms his expertise in creating and cultivating authentic brand to consumer relationships.
“We had a very successful 2015 and it’s clear the company is poised to take an even bigger lead in the rapidly growing grass-fed industry,” commented Verde Farms’ CEO and Co-founder Dana Ehrlich. “We are all very excited to welcome Joe and Pete and to work alongside them as Verde Farms continues to charter new territory.”
The hires come as Verde Farms transitions to a new location in Woburn, Massachusetts. The new space is double the size of the former office to account for the growing team and to foster future product development and increased client services. Embracing the energy of a tech start-up as opposed to a traditional food producer, Ehrlich wanted a modern space that cultivates innovation and reflects the company’s mission to democratize the consumption of grass-fed beef.