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Selling You on Our Sales Team

Selling You on Our Sales Team

Selling You on Our Sales Team

They're the faces of our company! Traveling the country, meeting new people, and constantly selling and teaching others about our products. We're bringing the Sales Team to the forefront to share some of their favorite foods, places, and memories with our Sweet Company.

patrick-east coast salesman

Patrick: The Talkative Frenchman

Our most talkative salesman has been working with ifiGOURMET for a decade! That's right, 10 years of “sweet” traveling and selling! We love Patrick for his friendliness and positive attitude, but also his particular palate, making his judgement on taste easy to trust. Previously being a Pastry Chef, Patrick knows exactly how products can be used, what they are meant for, where they come from—basically, he is the Pastry Product King.

  • When you go to a restaurant, what do you really hope/want to see on the dessert menu?
    That's easy--Foie Gras. I actually would eat Foie Gras in any part of my meal if it was possible. Anyone that knows me knows it's true, hahaha!
  • If you had to choose one product of ours that you think a chef can't live without, what would it be and why?
    Chocolate. Every dessert menu has at least two items with some kind of chocolate.
  • What is your favorite thing about working for ifiGOURMET? Or, pick a favorite memory you have while working with the company.
    I'm going to preface this by saying sorry Rick Brownstein…but this is my favorite and funniest memory with ifiGOURMET. One night, Rick and I went out for dinner. At that time he drove a Toyota hybrid, and while driving to the restaurant he was close to be out of gas and have to rely on the battery. Of course, being in Chicago in the winter, we were driving in a snow storm. Let me tell you that batteries don't work well in the winter! We had to walk to a gas station. And you guys know me, I travel light…no coat. Hahaha, that memory always brings a smile to my face, I love it.
  • What is your favorite place to travel and why?
    I love to travel to the shores of Portland, Maine. Great food and beautiful scenery.

Pierrick-west coast salesman

Pierrick: The Definition of Calm, Cool, and Collected

This relaxed guy has been working with ifiGOURMET for almost 9 years! When it feels like everyone else is stressed, Pierrick has all of his ducks in a row. His subtle humor is comforting and people know they can count on him for fast, consistent communication. His experience in the industry and knowledge for our products is top-notch and he will go above and beyond to help his customers.

  • When you go to a restaurant, what do you really hope/want to see on the dessert menu?
    I am a pretty traditional person, so I love coming across a traditional dessert with great flavors.
  • If you had to choose one product of ours that you think a chef can't live without, what would it be and why?
    A pastry bag! Haha, but honestly, that's a difficult question. Between our couverture chocolates & Dreidoppel Flavor Pastes, there are too many great options to pick just one.
  • What is your favorite thing about working for ifiGOURMET? Or, pick a favorite memory you have while working with the company.
    I love the variety of products we carry. It allows us to call on a wide range of customers, and we are able to meet a lot of different people and businesses.
  • What is your favorite place to travel and why?
    The whole west coast! But Portland, Oregon may be my favorite. It is a small city feel with a lot of great local food.

Michael-midwest salesman

Michael: The Tattooed Jokester

You should definitely expect this salesman to crack a joke or two! Michael has been making ifiGOURMET coworkers and customers laugh for almost 5 years. Whether he's in the kitchen or on a sales call, he knows product information like the back of his hand and is up to date on the ever changing food industry. His previous experience as a chef has made him confident in the choices he makes for ingredients. Need a conversation starter? His colorful tattoos are a great place to start!

  • When you go to a restaurant, what do you really hope/want to see on the dessert menu?
    I want to see a good amount of choices: chocolate, fruit, cream, etc. I love textures, so that's important too. I am also looking for Luker products, that's always cool to find!
  • If you had to choose one product of ours that you think a chef can't live without, what would it be and why?
    I would definitely say that chefs need Luker's Nevado White Chocolate. I hate white chocolate, but Nevado has so much flavor and is so different than other white chocolates on the market.
  • What is your favorite thing about working for ifiGOURMET? Or, pick a favorite memory you have while working with the company.
    I don't really have a single favorite aspect about working for ifiGOURMET. I love working for the Brownstein's! They have known me since I was a baby, which makes it that much more special to work for them. But I love every department at ifiGOURMET. I really think our team is spectacular.
  • What is your favorite place to travel and why?
    When ifiGOURMET sent me to Colombia to visit Luker Chocolate, it was an absolutely amazing experience for me.

jodi-Texas and New Orleans saleswoman

Jodi: The Vivacious Go-Getter

This Texas gal is an avid sweet lover and knows what tastes good AND looks good! Jodi has her own high-end custom jewelry business and has been working as a saleswoman for ifiGOURMET for 2 years. However, she has been traveling with the company's creators (and her parents!) showing people how to make fruit tarts for a long time! Her longevity with the sweet business is sure to give you confidence that you're dealing with a person that knows their stuff!

  • When you go to a restaurant, what do you really hope/want to see on the dessert menu?
    I definitely want to see something decadent with dark chocolate, that's my favorite!
  • If you had to choose one product of ours that you think a chef can't live without, what would it be and why?
    Luker Chocolate! It is so unique and delicious, and chocolate is essential for any dessert menu.
  • What is your favorite thing about working for ifiGOURMET? Or, pick a favorite memory you have while working with the company.
    It is hard to choose just 1 thing…but I love seeing (and tasting!) what all of the chefs are creating and being able to help them out with great ingredients. The art and craft of it are inspiring to me. I also love working with our team of great people!
  • What is your favorite place to travel and why?
    I'd have to choose Tulum, Mexico, because the beach is magical and there is always an incredible adventure awaiting.

Meet: Michael Aycock

Michael : Lover of All Things Food

Michael loves to talk about food more than anything else, and he's got the experience to match! Having worked in the culinary industry since 1996, Michael has several years of valuable industry experience under his belt - from owning is own business to being an avid collector of hard cover books about chefs from around the world. Michael is the person to talk to for an energetic conversation about all things food! 

This passion carries over into his personal life as well - when he's not working, he enjoys cooking food from all over the world with his family, including Thai Food, Italian, and French, just to name a few. Their current favorite is cooking food from Spain, especially paellas!

His outgoing personality and expertise will make you feel right at home, particularly because he never feels like he meets a stranger.

  • When you go to a restaurant, what do you really hope/want to see on the dessert menu?

My favorite dessert to see is tiramisu made the old school way with real espresso and Italian ladyfingers. They make this perfectly in the North Beach area of San Francisco. 

  • If you had to choose one product of ours that you think a chef can't live without, what would it be and why?

The Luker Chocolate brand. I got to visit them in Columbia in 2019 and I really fell in love with what they believe in. I really like what they stand for which they say on their bio: 'committed to the sustainable social, economic, and environmental development of cocoa growing communities."

  • What is your favorite thing about working for ifiGOURMET? Or, pick a favorite memory you have while working with the company.

My favorite thing about working for ifiGOURMET is the family atmosphere we have here. The Brownsteins are a close family, and they are really committed to the team. If I need to call Rick, he will pick up the call. Not like larger companies where you never get to speak directly with the owner, get feedback on what you are working on, or get advice on how to handle certain situations. We are all part of the family and treated with respect.

  • What is your favorite place to travel to and why?

Maui, Hawaii. We love to go as much as possible with our boys. It's just a relaxing place where all you want to do is spend time with the family. We hang out by the pool, ocean and take hikes while in Maui. We usually cook everyday, so we can just sit together listening to music and talk.

Chef Joan Repato 

Joan: The Adventurous Pastry Chef

Joan is an avid traveler, using her experiences from seeing the world to help shape her culinary skills as a pastry chef. She's worked at trade shows overseas, and uses her knowledge as a creative pastry chef to help advise clients with all of their sweet needs. She has been with ifiGOURMET for over 10 years, now serving as a Territory Sales Manager and the Dreidoppel Technical Advisor. 

When she's not juggling things at work, she loves maintaining her own organic garden where (almost) everything is edible, spending time with her grandkids, and making them special themed birthday cakes!

Joan's can-do attitude and eagerness to help others coupled with her extensive culinary expertise makes her an excellent advisor!

  • When you go to a restaurant, what do you really hope/want to see on the dessert menu?

I want to see chocolate (my favorite food) on the dessert menu and hope for something ooey gooey. Then, I look for crème brulée!

  • If you had to choose one product of ours that you think a chef can't live without, what would it be and why?

Chocolate, of course. We have so many to choose from, so it can't be just one product. My favorite chocolate manufacturer is Luker; Palenque 70% or Péru 72%

  • What is your favorite thing about working for ifiGOURMET? Or, pick a favorite memory you have while working with the company.

Because of my love of travel, I really enjoy doing demos or creating desserts for a pastry case in one of our trade shows, especially if the show is in a location that I've never been to. So, my favorite memory is from IDDBA 2018 in New Orleans which coincided with the 300th Anniversary of the founding of New Orleans. Shelly (our marketing director) rented an Airbnb, which was an old Victorian with a big kitchen, nice porch in the front, beautiful dining room, and comfortable bedrooms which I shared with two other collegues. We were there for almost a week, and we ate lots of good food, the weather was very nice, and we created lots of beautiful cakes and pastries with the help of another sales collegue, Patrick Duroeulx, who showed me some of his decorating tricks.

  • What is your favorite place to travel to and why?

That is a hard question because I have not been everywhere yet, so I don't have a favorite place yet. But my favorite type of vacation is cruising because I truly get to relax completely and see so many places on one vacation: I don't have to make my bed or cook my meals. I don't have to drive anywhere, yet I wake up in a new location every morning, and enjoy spa treatments when we're at sea. My favorite cruise line is Celebrity Cruises because they truly treat you like a celebrity.

Meet Lani

Lani: The Team Player

Lani's love for collaboration along with her extensive industry background makes her the perfect partner when it comes to finding the right products for your needs! Her experience includes a culinary education, as well as working with various businesses and kitchens throughout the years. She loves having the opportunity to work with amazing owners, managers and chefs - as well as her husband's catering events! With these experiences, Lani has developed a knack for working with others, being an organized multi-tasker and team player, all with lots of patience and a positive attitude.

  • When you go to a restaurant, what do you really hope/want to see on the dessert menu?

I hope to see a variety of desserts. [I'm] always looking for something that has chocolate, lemon or fruit. And I also like cold and hot desserts, or something with texture. I do love classic desserts, but I'm always willing to try something innovative and new.

  • If you had to choose one product of ours that you think a chef can't live without, what would it be and why?

This is a very hard question. For both home chefs and professional chefs, I can go on and on - but if I have to choose one, they have to be chocolate of course, because it's so amazing what you can create with it. As simple as adding it with milk to make hot cocoa or your own s'mores, or as complex as tempering it and creating beautiful, detailed artwork pieces and desserts. Endless possibilities! I do LOVE our Dreidoppel pastes too! These also have endless possibilities with more than 40 flavors and more than 40 uses!

  • What is your favorite things about working for ifiGOURMET? Or, pick a favorite memory you have while working with the company. 

I love working for ifiGOURMET because I love meeting and helping our customers find the right products for their needs. It may be a challenge, but it is also a pleasure to try to find solutions for them. I also love that we have amazing, quality products to offer that are both local and form around the world. Of course, I also love working here because we have so many hard-working, resilient and passionate individuals that back me up all of the time. It takes all of the departments working together to be successful.

  • What is your favorite place to travel to and why?

No ONE favorite place yet. For sure, my family and I love Tahoe because it's so beautiful both in summer and winter, and my family loves sports and the outdoors. There are places that I loved that I was blessed to go once. Like in Columbia, to visit Luker Chocolate. Love, love, loved it because of the incredible people, tour, tastings, and hospitality. Others were different cities in Italy, France, and Spain through an Italian cruise line (pre-COVID, of course!). Our whole family celebrated my mom and dad's 50th wedding anniversary. Loved it because we got to celebrate together and got to experience magnificent and beautiful nature, architecture, wonderful foods, markets, wine, and pistachio gelato!

Nora: The Foodie & Wine Expert

Having 10+ years of industry experience under her belt selling baked goods and  desserts and two COVID-challenged (yet fun!) years at ifiGOURMET, Nora is precisely the woman to turn to for all of your sweet needs. She's also super relatable - a foodie at heart, Nora is always looking for a new restaurant or some exotic cuisine to try! She is also a refined wine broker and enthusiast, and has yet to find a wine that she does not like. Her ideal evening is spent surrounded by family and friends, great wine, and of course, a great meal. Wine + food + friends: what's better than that?

  • When you go to a restaurant, what do you really hope/want to see on the dessert menu?

Since working with ifiGOURMET, I now look for the most interesting dessert. It is fun to taste all of the ingredients I could sell to make it.

  • If you had to choose one product of ours that you think a chef can't live without, what would it be and why?

All great pastry chefs need a great chocolate. Our private brand Grand Marque 58% Belgium chocolate is a must for many of my pastry chefs. It is a high quality Belgian chocolate that is easy to work with, and competitively priced, versus other brand name Belgian chocolates.

  • What is your favorite thing about working for ifiGOURMET? Or, pick a favorite memory you have while working with the company.

My favorite thing about working for ifiGOURMET is the people. I work with a great team, who is always willing to assist and great customers who I truly enjoy working with every day.

  • What is your favorite place to travel to and why?

My favorite place to travel to is anywhere I have not been. On my radar recently is Turkey. Istanbul and other parts of Turkey look beautiful. I am sure the food and desserts are amazing there too.

 

Melissa: The Playful Pastry Expert

Service with a smile, and experience to boot! Melissa has a fun, bubbly personality you won't soon forget. As the Director of Key Account Sales, Melissa manages a variety of responsibilities here at ifiGOURMET, including Territory Sales Leadership and Growth, and working with buyers at retail chains, manufacturers and distributors. Before starting at ifiGOURMET IN 2015, Melissa has built an impressive resume including her experience as a Bakery Team Leader and Bakery Assistant Coordinator for 12 years at Whole Foods Market, as well as a National Sales Executive with both Dancing Deer Bakery in Boston and Donsuemor madeleine company. Her light-hearted, playful attitude makes her an absolute treat to work with!

  • When you go to a restaurant, what do you really hope/want to see on the dessert menu?

Coconut cake! :)

  • If you had to choose one product of ours that you think a chef can't live without, what would it be and why?

Okay, for some reason this is the hardest question. We have so many great products it's really hard to pick only one. I would say that I don't work with chefs as much as other sales reps do, but more so buyers at retail chains, manufacturers and distributors. I really love our Dream Cakes line and developing more frozen finished desserts for them. 

  • What is your favorite thing about working for ifiGOURMET? Or, pick a favorite memory you have while working with the company.

Trade shows with Shelly, our Marketing Director! And our branding, marketing materials, and website are so beautiful. I love our style!

  • What is your favorite place to travel to and why?

San Miguel de Allende: I love the interior design, art, food, people and that it's not crowded.

There you have it! We love our great Sales Team; our company couldn't function without them. Their tenacious attitudes and outgoing personalities create business relationships that we are proud of. They are Your Source For All Things Sweet.

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