Coffee Break: Jamie Moriarty, co-founder of Ready Set Gourmet in Wheeling
Jamie Moriarty, 41, is co-founder of Ready Set Gourmet, a food e-commerce and cold chain logistics company based in Wheeling. The company employs 20 people and has an annual revenue of $10 million. It can be found online at www.gourmetkitchn.com and www.coldchain3pl.com.
Q: Describe your company.
A: We are experts in e-commerce cold shipping: fulfillment, logistics and storage. We can handle it all. Through technology, we offer brands the ability to sell through their e-commerce channels, our online marketplace, Amazon and other e-commerce platforms.
Q: Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
A: In response to our rapid growth, we recently moved into a new 30,000-square-foot facility on June 1 and are actively looking for new brands interested in our shipping services. In order to effectively support the direction our company is headed, our future plans to add to our team are a must. We are looking to staff those with sales experience in fulfillment, those with warehouse management experience and individuals that can assist us with account management.
Q: What will your company's main challenges be in the next year?
A: We are in the process of transitioning over to a new warehouse software technology solution, which poses our biggest shift in how we operate our business. Additionally, continuing to successfully add the right players to our team to handle our growth during this phase will be another challenge we will be facing in 2022/23.
Q: What's the hottest trend in your industry?
A: As crazy as this may sound, e-commerce and subscription services are still trending high in this domain. Although e-commerce has been a mainstay for decades, fresh and frozen food is still an emerging part of e-commerce. Many CPG brands use a business-to-business model. They are designed to ship pallets of products to large distribution centers. COVID-19 has forced this industry to consider adding the direct-to-customer model to their business practices. They are beginning to see how lucrative this approach can be and just how effective D2C can be to future proofing their sales.
Q: If you had one tip to give to a rookie executive, what would it be?
A: One thing that I try to do is empower my team. I am not a "micromanager." I encourage everyone to take ownership of their position. If I were to give a rookie advice, I'd tell him or her no matter how big or small a task is, if they can beat expectations, even by a little, it will be noticed, their work will be appreciated and they will be rewarded for it.
Q: Do you have a business mantra?
A: Right now as we are working night and day -- as hard as we can to build our business, -- one that resonates with me is this: "Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential."
Q: From a business outlook, whom do you look up to?
A: Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia. I admire his commitment to the environment and his employees. His commitment to the environment can be seen in the company's pledge to give a percentage of revenue to help the environment or the methods used to produce their clothing, but also, all the way back to Yvon's early days when he was committed to creating a new product to replace his bestselling climbing equipment when he learned it was harming rock faces. The willingness to cannibalize sales of your bestselling product to stop damage to nature is pretty darn admirable.
Q: What is one interesting fact about you or your company that most people may not know?
A: We started as a marinated meats company (but quickly pivoted).
Q: Was there a moment in your career that didn't go as you had planned? What lesson did you learn from it?
A: More than once. I think if you are constantly putting yourself out there and pushing yourself into new territory, failure is part of the game. Failing over and over again isn't necessarily a bad thing because your failures can ultimately be the reason you succeed. If you are willing to learn from your "failures," so-to-speak, each failure is an opportunity for you to become a better version of yourself the next time you set out to try again. I think what I have learned from my life's experiences is that you never give up, you never stop reaching, you keep trying and you keep swinging the bat.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I spend my free time with my family. I love to travel, stay active by lifting weights, and I spend my down time watching movies and playing video games with my friends from grade school, actually.
Q: What book is on your nightstand?
A: The Accidental President by A.J. Baime. If you are interested in American history, this book gives you a glimpse into one of the most interesting journeys to the presidency.
Q: What keeps you up at night?
A: I wear a lot of hats at RSG, so it's usually all the little tasks that made their way into my inbox that day that I need to address the next morning. It can be anything from customer service to IT to legal and so much more.
Q: If you were not doing this job, what do you think you would be doing?
A: I'd probably be building another startup. I get energized from working on new ideas and trying to solve problems. For me this is one of the most exciting stages in a company's growth.
Q: What was your first paying job?
A: My grandparents owned an Italian restaurant that had been in our family for a couple of generations. My first job was working at the restaurant as a busboy.
Q: If you could put your company name on a sports venue, which one would you choose?
A: Maybe the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Ready Set Gourmet on a racing venue has a nice ring to it.
Q: Two people to follow on Twitter and why. (besides your company)
A: I may be an anomaly these days, but I don't have a Twitter account.
Ready Set Gourmet
199 Shepard Ave., Wheeling, IL 60090
www.gourmetkitchn.com & www.coldchain3pl.com
Industry: Food e-commerce and cold chain logistics.
Annual revenue: $10,000,000
Number of employees: 20
Family information: Wife, Nicole. Daughter, age 7, Royce