Smith Brothers Farms has undergone more change in our last 10 years than we had in our previous 80, and we continue to grow and evolve. Even since we were featured in Dairy Foods earlier this year (see January 2014 issue), we’ve continued to update our plant and our business. We have:
- installed a new, more efficient separator and upgraded HTST system to increase the capacity of our plant by 50%. These changes have made us more self-sufficient in terms of maintenance, reduced our energy usage by 10% and given us the foundation to grow our business.
- invested in a captive water coolant system for our homogenizer. This system takes warm water from our homogenization process, cools it with glycol and recirculates the cold water through the system rather than dumping the warm water down the drain. This will result in savings of 1.3 million gallons of water per year.
- updated our website (www.smithbrothersfarms.com) to be more user friendly for our home delivery customers and highlight the fresh local products we offer to the Puget Sound area.
- improved our home delivery fleet by replacing 10 older trucks with new Freightliners that are 30% more fuel efficient.
Our new plant’s capacity has created the opportunity for us to actively pursue more wholesale and retail business that we are now able to serve. We recently hired Wes Lewis as our new vice president of sales and marketing to lead this effort. Wes comes to us from Mark Anthony Brands Inc. (Mike’s Hard Lemonade and American Vintage Beverages Inc.) and has more than 30 years in the beverage sales industry. He has already proven himself as an invaluable member of our team and will be a key part of our growth.
Perhaps the most significant update is the recent change in company leadership. President and CEO Scott Highland announced his retirement in June after leading the company for the last nine years. His contributions to the company were innumerable and under his leadership, Smith Brothers Farms is looking forward to a bright future.
As a family-owned company, it was a proud moment for Scott to announce his son, Dustin Highland, as his successor as president and CEO. Dustin has been a part of the family company since 2012 and was integral in all facets of the company’s move to the new plant and getting it fully operational. In his retirement announcement, Scott said “He will be a great leader for our company and is committed to the success, growth and sustainability of Smith Brothers Farms.” Scott will remain on the board of directors.
We would like to thank all who voted for us for 2014 Dairy Foods Plant of the Year. We are extremely honored to have received this distinction and plan to live up to this moniker in 2014 and beyond.