One of the most interesting stories about Blount Foods doesn’t involve the past year’s growth. Rather, we were intrigued when President Todd Blount talked about initiating change and embracing risk seven or eight years ago.

It was a moment of risk and reward . . .  starting when the captain cut the outboard engine on our 20-foot powerboat and let us drift on the river while he handed out life vests.

Let me back up for a second. My dad and I were hiking around Costa Rica and this one afternoon had us on a small boat headed out to the Pacific Ocean. Our destination was a hotel in Drake Bay, right beside a national park on the Osa Peninsula.

But first it was a question of leaving river’s mouth to get into the ocean. The waves here were tall and relentless and it took a good half hour for our guide to power us – without capsizing – through several troughs and right over some massive swells.
Once it was done, we were out on the sparkling blue with a vast ocean before us.

I share this recollection because – to me – one of the most interesting stories of Blount Foods doesn’t involve this past year’s growth activities. Rather, I was intrigued when President Todd Blount talked about initiating change and embracing risk seven or eight years ago.

A clam and seafood specialties processor since the 1880s, Blount branched into the soup market in 1990. Todd Blount became president in 2000 and by 2003, he knew soup was Blount’s biggest business and growth opportunity. The following year, he would consolidate four facilities; build a $15 million, 60,000-square-foot soup processing plant and headquarters in Fall River, Mass.; move most employees and operations to Fall River; and even change the company’s name.

“. . . it felt as though everything was in the air,” he says. “We were changing products, closing facilities and moving operations and people everywhere.”

Then he concludes, “Even though we’re equally busy now, I feel much more confident because we’ve already proven we can handle change and take it to the next level . . . We’ve planned these investments.”

With the right facility, equipment, products and positioning, officials say Blount now enjoys 20 percent year-over-year revenue gains. That could be your company in the future. But how do you get there? Todd’s story reminds me that you often have to initiate change and embrace risk – to break through and later enjoy greater opportunities on the other side.

Come see. Come learn.

Refrigerated & Frozen Foodswill present its second annual“Refrigerated Foods Processor of the Year”award to Todd Blount during the Refrigerated Foods Association’s (RFA) 32nd annual conference and tabletop exhibition. RFA hosts the event March 3-4, at the La Quinta Resort & Club in Palm Springs, Calif. Call (770) 452-0660 or visit for conference details.