Manufacturing and Distribution Category: Overall success story

Perfection may be tough to attain, but at Shearer’s Foods Inc., “Shearer Perfection in Every Bag” is not just a tagline, it is the heart of the company’s corporate culture.

CEO Bob Shearer leads the Brewster-based snack food company, which manufactured a record 57.5 million pounds of snacks last year under its own brand and for private label customers.

Founded in 1974, Shearer’s began with four employees; today, its work force has reached nearly 600 .

The best CEOs understand that strong associates create a strong organization. Shearer’s Caring and Sharing Committee was formed in 2003 to identify fellow associates and people in the community with special needs. The business has been recognized by several local organizations for providing community support while getting its employees involved in fundraising projects.

Creating solid partnerships with customers and suppliers is another way to grow a company, and Shearer’s sales have increased 78 percent during the last five years. Its products are distributed throughout the Midwest, New England and parts of Canada via company-owned routes and a network of select independent distributors.

With increased demand for Shearer’s products, the company has been expanding its operations. It purchased state-of-the-art production systems, installed an elevated walkway, added four more hand-kettles and introduced a new masa tortilla line.

More snacks require more storage space, and Shearer’s moved its warehouse to a 150,000-square-foot distribution center in Navarre. The new facility allowed it to consolidate its smaller warehouses in Brewster and Massillon, which were filled to capacity.

Shearer’s also implemented and designed in-house a Web site application that centralizes data for manufacturing into a single source of information. Manual paper schedules and tracking forms have been replaced with computers on the shop floor and barcode labels on the product.

Always focused on being an environmentally responsible company, Shearer’s won the “Proof Not Promises” and “Return on Environment” awards from General Electric’s Water and Process Technologies Division for the $2.6 million wastewater treatment plant at its Brewster facility.

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