Sheer performance

Bob Shearer wants to make sure his company leaves you with a good taste in your mouth.

And he wants to make sure that that feeling goes beyond enjoying the kettle-cooked potato chips that are the mainstay of success at Shearer’s Foods Inc.

Shearer, the CEO, is just one of more than 700 people who work at the company, which is based in Brewster, Ohio, and like all the others, he understands that taking care of customers’ concerns is rule No. 1.

In some areas, it’s the little differences — when you call Shearer’s, you don’t get a receptionist; instead you get the company’s director of first impressions. You also don’t get a hello, you get a bright and helpful outlook, ‘It’s a perfect day at Shearer’s,’ and you’ll hear, ‘How may we enhance your snack-food experience?’

That can-do attitude comes from three simple mindsets ingrained deeply in the company. First, employees at Shearer’s must learn that while they may not understand every customer request, they must respect that it’s important to that customer. Second, being an employee at Shearer’s means you work for the customer, meaning you work at his or her convenience. Finally, everyone understands that Shearer’s success comes from happy customers, so that has to stay the top priority.

As the company has grown, adding more than 300 employees during a boom that started in 2003, keeping up that legacy isn’t easy, but Shearer’s has found a way to pass it from one generation of people to the next. The company has what it’s dubbed the culture club, a group of seasoned professionals who develop activities and programs for new associates to help share the company’s values. The members of the culture club all have at least 15 years with the company, meaning they know the system.

How to reach: Shearer’s Foods Inc., (330) 767-3426 or