FiveStar Gourmet Foods, Makers of Simply Fresh, is bringing aboard proven produce industry leader Michael Solomon as president, effective immediately. Reporting to CEO Tal Shoshan, Solomon will oversee all day-to-day operations out of the company’s Ontario, California, headquarters. Shoshan will continue to oversee the company’s innovation and strategic growth.
FiveStar Gourmet Foods owns Simply Fresh and has been producing premium, healthy foods for more than two decades. With multiple processing SQF level 3 USDA/FDA facilities nationwide, FiveStar produces and distributes a complete line of retail and foodservice products that are both premium and affordable.
"Growth and innovation in the fresh prepared foods landscape has only intensified through the pandemic. We are expecting continued strong performance and Michael’s specific expertise is a driving factor in our future success as a premium producer of smart and delicious fresh prepared foods,” says Tal Shoshan, CEO of FiveStar Gourmet Foods. “Michael will be working closely with us to streamline operations, identify new strategic partners, and help continue to strengthen our position as the fastest growing brand within fresh value-added.”
Solomon earned a degree in Business and Managerial Economics from Union College and a Master’s in Business Administration (M.B.A.) from the Wharton School of Business. He joins FiveStar Gourmet Foods from DOLE Fresh Vegetables, where he also served as President. Prior to this, he held roles as president at POM Wonderful and president and CEO of Ready Pac Foods, Inc. where he led the organization through several years of record performance. Solomon also has run a successful business consultancy for over 30 years.
“Tal and I have a long history as both competitors and friends. I admire his drive and commitment to growth and innovation in the category,” says Michael Solomon, president of FiveStar Gourmet Foods. “I’ve been impressed with FiveStar’s market position and have a strong vision for how we’ll collaborate to take the company to the next level. FiveStar has a modern, state-of-the-art infrastructure, an unparalleled food safety record and the strongest innovation pipeline in the industry. It’s easy to see that FiveStar has a clear path for major growth, and I am really excited to join as president.”
Pandemic Grows Consumer Demand for Fresh Prepared Foods
Retailers’ efforts to repurpose salad bars coupled with ongoing consumer demand for fresh, healthy packaged meals and salads amid the pandemic have helped grow the category over the past year. FiveStar Gourmet Foods has observed growth based on its convenient, portable offerings, including seasonal and Limited Time Offering (LTO) salad options. The company also recently partnered with Beyond Meat to launch a new line of alternative protein salads.
About FiveStar Gourmet Foods
With an “appetite for excellence,” leading innovator within fresh value-added foods, Southern California-based FiveStar Gourmet Foods, the producers of the Simply Fresh brand, have been producing premium, healthy foods for more than two decades. With processing facilities nationwide, including Naples, Florida, FiveStar manufacturers a complete line of retail and foodservice products including convenience salad bowls and snacks featuring fresh produce and proteins under the Simply Fresh Salads, Simply Fresh 2Go, and MiniMeals2Go brands using all-natural, no artificial ingredients. Five Star has achieved both organic certification and the highest quality and food safety certification of SQF Level 3.