May 2004 Edition
We Turn the Spotlight On...

Louie Meconi

Marketing Associate, Sysco Toronto

Service Partner to Colasanti's Tropical Gardens, Ruthven, Ontario

ST Tell us about your accounts and your geographic territory.

I serve several communities in southwestern Ontario, including Essex County which consists of Leamington, Kingsville, Harrow and Ruthven. Also, I picked up part of Kent County, most notably Chatham and Ridgeton. My accounts include golf courses, hotels, motels and independent restaurants. Colasanti's is unique - it encompasses so many different things all under one roof - crafts, flowers, an indoor zoo, rides, miniature golf, hayrides - and the list goes on. Colasanti's is not a typical account in that sense.

However, like many accounts, they take great pride in their operation. Colasanti's is family run, and their ability to serve up succulent broasted chicken, tasty pasta luncheons and buffets is a source of delight for them. The staff is dedicated and they aim to provide the ultimate in family dining.

ST What do you like best about Sysco Brand?

I believe Sysco Brand's strength lies in its diversity - it affords the operator a wide array of products. Beyond exceptional selection, it also provides peace of mind because all of the products are of the highest quality. In all my years that I have spent in foodservice I can safely say that the Butcher's BlockTM Beef Program far exceeds the competition, making our protein program second to none - and we provide variety in all categories.

Sysco Brand Quality Assurance is at the heart of its success and with our marketing team adding new lines to keep up with the ever-changing market demand for new items, we are sure to meet or exceed customer expectations.

ST Does Colasanti's take advantage of Sysco Brand products?

Absolutely. In fact they purchase approximately 41 percent Sysco Brand items. I see this as an area of growth as we add new products to the Sysco Brand family.

ST How have you helped Colasanti's solve a problem?

I would have to say that the introduction of a new poultry and AAA Meat Program was an initiative that I believe really helped to build their business. It provided the quality and consistency they were looking for, and ensured they had complete customer satisfaction.

ST What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

Introducing new cost efficient ideas to well established restaurants - it is like teaching an old dog a new trick in some respects. And keeping up with the high standards that my accounts expect can also be challenging.

ST What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Knowing that I have helped my accounts succeed in growing their business and seeing them make a profit. The door is always open to introduce new products and ideas that pertain to their operation.

ST What are your goals for the future?

I want to see more of my customers taking advantage of Sysco Brand products. Because they are so reliable and of such exceptional quality these items help me grow trust and ensure the profitability of my customers in a highly competitive market.

ST What do you enjoy most about working for Sysco?

I am 100 percent comfortable selling Sysco Brand products because of the training and product knowledge that Sysco provides.

ST What foodservice trends do you see emerging and how do you think you'll respond to them?

Mom's old recipes seem to be emerging on a huge scale. I think operators are using them and getting creative with them. I think flavours are being enhanced by the use of fresh herbs and spices and I think customers are demanding higher quality, fresh protein products.

Operators are looking for that unique signature dish - the one that the chef has taken to the next level of creativity. And product knowledge pertaining to fresh tropical fruits, wild game, and specialty products is essential to assist the chef, giving him the tools to work through these new creations. ยจ