Family business

Accepting awards is nothing new to the folks at Shearer’s Foods
Inc. Since its founding in the mid-1970s, the Brewster-based snack
food manufacturer has been honored for product quality, business
growth, community service, customer service, innovation in manufacturing and now, after a 51 percent work force increase over
the past five years, employee growth.

The company’s roots are humble enough. Though it currently
employs more than 700 associates, the Shearer’s story starts with
Jack and Rosemary Shearer, the operators of a third-generation, family-owned grocery story in Canton. After purchasing a small snack
food distributorship in 1974 and expanding the business with the help
of sons Bob and Tom — now Shearer’s CEO and vice president of
business development, respectively — the family started manufacturing their own hand-cooked, kettle-style potato chips in 1979. Today,
less than 30 years later, Shearer’s boasts three state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities that will produce an estimated 83.5 million pounds
of product this year, a nearly 20 percent improvement on the company’s previous volume record that was set in 2006. Through four company-owned distribution centers in Ohio and Pennsylvania and a combined network of company-owned routes and select distributors,
Shearer’s potato chips, tortilla chips, cheese curls and popcorn are
now on shelves throughout the Midwest, New England and part of
Canada. Through the company’s private-label customers, Shearer’s
products have a worldwide distribution network.

Though Shearer’s staff increased from 406 to 614 employees
between 2002 and 2006 and annual revenue grew from $61.5 million
to $101.5 million over the same period, the company shows no signs
of slowing down. With new and improved automation systems, additional volume capacity, a new distribution center, expanded product
offerings and the acquisition of North Ridgeville-based Poppees
Popcorn, Shearer’s projects revenue of $126 million for fiscal 2007 and
anticipates further expansion of facilities and equipment capabilities.

Shearer’s has long been committed to improving its community.
Through its Caring and Sharing committee, Shearer’s supports community needs with product and monetary donations. A 2006 Cascade
Capital Business Growth Award honoree, Shearer’s was named
Overall Success Story in the Manufacturing/Distributing category last

HOW TO REACH: Shearer’s Foods Inc., (330) 767-3426 or