08 Jul Member Spotlight – MALLET, A VANTAGE COMPANY
Mallet and Company – Drew Pope
Drew Pope is the Vice President of Sales for Mallet and Company. He oversees a team of account managers who support customers in the United States, Canada, Central and South America.
Kelly Allen, Membership Manager for BEMA had an opportunity to ask Mr. Pope a few questions about himself and the organization.
Q: What is your company most known for?
A: Since 1939 Mallet and Company has been providing bakeries with ingredients, equipment and services. Now part of Vantage Food™, our business has grown from being the industry leader in release agents to offering a broad portfolio of functional ingredients, processing aids, vegetable/seed oils, equipment and services. We are known for our technical expertise, our customer care, and our ability to work closely with our customers to solve challenging problems.
Q: Would you like to share something new or innovative that your company has done recently?
A: With the recent acquisition of The Amarna Company, we have introduced our Amarnakote™ line of water-based release agents to a broader range of bakery applications as a novel approach to product release and, ultimately, material handling challenges. This patented family of release agents are easily sprayed while also having useful cleaning properties. These unique products help significantly extend pan glaze life. Typical dough-based applications for the baking industry are artisan breads, bagel, pretzel products, pastries/danish, pocket sandwiches and many others.
Q: What drew your company to join BEMA? What resources have you found most valuable?
A: Mallet has been an active member of BEMA since 1983 and BEMA has always been a great partner of ours. BEMA really is a key resource of ours for networking and identifying trends. In particular during this COVID19 pandemic, the Bakery Industry Forum Town Halls were extremely helpful. They allowed us to better gauge the impact of COVID19 on our customer base and develop some learnings from how other BEMA members have been responding.
Q: What do you love most about the baking industry?
A: I enjoy the ever-changing landscape of the baking industry. New trends, new equipment, and new products make our industry a fun place to work and thrive. As an entity which is driven through innovation and at times quite unique offerings, the days spent laboring in this industry are never boring and/or mundane. The greatest reward for me is when I walk into a grocery, or other retail store, and see our customers’ products lining the shelves.
Q: What is the one thing you have missed the most during the quarantine?
A: While residing in a sales role, I am an engineer by trade, so I also miss the troubleshooting and problem solving that goes hand in hand with our offerings. Like most people that travel for a living, I miss all things travel and of course face to face contact with our customers, partners, and prospects. I have been able to maintain existing relationships and even develop some new ones. Still, I do miss those opportunities to meet in person, shake hands, and get to know them on a more personal level prior to doing business.
Q: Is there anything that you think will remain the “new normal” as a result of the Coronavirus?
A: There will continue to be an ultra-high emphasis on sanitation and hygiene going forward so all things impacting these areas will be a focus for bakers. I also think that the current increased requirements for remote equipment and product application support will continue as enhanced conferencing and online collaboration tools will quickly evolve. Fortunately, our technical support team has been well prepared for this change and was able to quickly adapt to remote support and virtual meetings. More online meetings, enhanced data collections, smarter system controls, etc. will all be a part of the new normal.
Q: Please share any personal interests or volunteer activities that you enjoy.
A: Like so many who might read this article, I could joke about my career being my hobby since so much time is devoted to it. In my free time, I am an avid golfer – being brought up in the eastern part of North Carolina where golf was thankfully not considered a rich man’s game. I am a family man as well, but my boys are older and not requiring of too much time. Having relocated multiple times now in the last several years, I am remiss in not engaging with any local volunteer activities. With that said I do spend a lot of one on one time mentoring young students and professionals. I am a strong advocate for active mentoring and was fortunate to have several wonderful mentors in my 20’s and 30’s.
Q: Anything else you would like BEMA members to know?
A: Most equipment manufacturing in the bakery industry revolves around the requirement for repetitive processing and, ultimately, the conveyance of a product from step to step. To that end, material handling challenges abound whereby processing aids are required to facilitate the effective transfer of products without the need for lengthy line downtimes to tackle residuals buildup. It is for this reason that we look at ourselves as material handling experts rather than just producers of release agents and other functional ingredients. Our combination of custom release agent blends and spray equipment allow us to effectively partner with manufacturers and customers alike.
About Mallet, A Vantage Company
Since 1939 we have been an integral part of our customers’ success by providing the baking and food processing industries with ingredients, equipment and services. Now, as part of Vantage Food, our business has grown from a regional provider of release agents and stabilizers to a market leader with an integrated portfolio of ingredients, processing aids, equipment and services. Recent acquisitions that further extend our capabilities and market reach include The Amarna Company and Textron Plimon Natural Oils.
Our mission: Be the partner our customers trust and call upon knowing we deliver what we promise.