Meet Corey Young, a 28-year veteran of Jordano’s and vital member of the sales team. Young serves 70 accounts across Ventura County, but he wouldn’t call them “accounts,” instead he considers them “friends.”
Develop a Sense of Community
Some of these friends have been around for 20 years and like the characteristic of any good friendship, communication is paramount to fostering the relationship.
“I get calls at all hours of the day from those customers who have questions or are looking for ideas and advice. It might not even be about Jordano’s products, but I appreciate that they look to me as a sounding board,” says Young.
It’s a relationship that sometimes has Young in his customers’ restaurant kitchens, taste-testing their new recipes created from Jordano’s products or toasting to successes when he’s invited to their holiday party.
“I’ve always put my customers’ objectives ahead of Jordano’s and even my own; this is my community and my success comes from theirs,” Young says, who admits he relies heavily on a team approach fostered by the philosophy of Jordano’s.
Together we are Stronger
The support teams within Jordano’s make Young’s job easier. Whether he’s communicating with delivery drivers, leaning on the efficiency and accuracy of shipping, the support from purchasing, or relying on customer service and marketing, Young knows success can only come from a team effort.
“This community approach is what separates us from our competition; at Jordano’s we work first for the success of the customer and everything else good follows,” Young says.
Jordano’s gives their sales representatives the ability to work in adaptive parameters, too.
Working in tandem, those teams support Young when customers request items or products Jordano’s doesn’t sell. “I know that I can confidently tell my customer, ‘No problem, we can get that for you.’
That’s when customers realize that bigger food distributors aren’t always better. Our size allows us to be more responsive and offer them a better value.”
Young works to be a business partner to his customers, not a salesman. When customers want to order the lowest-cost product, he investigates how the product is going to be used to discover whether a more cost-effective solution or idea will better meet their needs.
“It’s about understanding how they operate and finding ways to help them meet their bottom-line objectives while staying relevant to their business model and customer base,” Young says.
Meeting Today’s Challenges
The industry weathered a lot of change since Young joined the Jordano’s team 28 years ago. Young’s take away from it all is adaptation and education.
In an ever-changing industry impacted by culture, technology and perceptions, Young says the biggest evolution is the placement of chicken on California menus. Once an afterthought on menus, chicken reigns as the number one protein item today. But keeping a thumb on the pulse of the next big trend starts with education.
A strong proponent of Jordano’s biannual Food and Equipment Show, Young says it’s critical for restaurants to attend this important event. More than viewing the evolution of change, innovations in equipment or sampling new food products, Young says the vital component is stepping outside of your own restaurant walls to connect with peersin your industry, to talk shop and share ideas.
“Nearly 70 percent of my customers attend the event because they know that you can’t do what you’ve always done and expect to survive. You have to adapt and grow; education is part of that adaptation,” he adds.
Jordano’s is a walking demonstration of adaptation. Grown from small beginnings, Jordano’s offers several different categories from produce to seafood to equipment and more.
“That’s a lot of growth, but also a challenge for us to communicate the vastness of all we can provide customers. It’s almost too good to be true that you can order your menu needs from us and have us design your new kitchen while outfitting your entire stock of table ware – but that’s a great challenge to have,” Young says with a light chuckle. “I have tremendous enthusiasm for this job. Every day I am working among friends.”