Sales revenue triples for members of Lanark County Food and Beverage Peer Group
The group’s coach is Sandy MacPherson, an Entrepreneur In Residence (EIR) at Launch Lab. “The peer-sharing difference makes one plus one equal three,” he stated.
Or more accurately, 300. Since Launch Lab formed the peer group in 2018 with Valley Heartland Community Futures Development Corp., participating companies have seen sales revenue grow 300%, backed by a tripling in the number of distribution agreements and reseller accounts. Those companies have also increased employment by 70%, 60% have significantly expanded manufacturing capacity, and all have passed next level food safety audits crucial to being picked up by regional and national distributors.
MacPherson is no stranger to the food and beverage industry, or to entrepreneurship. After succeeding in senior corporate roles at Labatt’s and Mead Johnson Nutrition he became the CEO/COO of food safety, medical device, and nutraceutical startups. He believes the magic of entrepreneurial peer groups comes from exchanges between sector-specific, but non competing companies facing similar growth challenges.
“Lanark County has a concentration of food and beverage companies, and Valley Heartland helped identify those looking to scale,” he said. “We meet monthly. I’ll introduce a topic, like selling to big box retailers or defining your ideal target market, ask lots of questions, then look for teachable moments as the group runs with it over the next two hours.”
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Smiths Falls, ON