Erin Tolefree named chief executive officer at Macedon-based Baldwin Richardson Foods

MACEDON — Baldwin Richardson Foods said its president is now also its chief executive officer.

The Macedon-based food and beverage ingredients manufacturer — one of the largest African American family-owned and -operated businesses in the food industry — announced this week that Erin Tolefree is now president and CEO. She succeeds her father, Eric Johnson, who will remain as chairman of the board.

Baldwin Richardson Foods, which also has operations in Williamson, manufactures sauces, syrups, toppings, and fillings for the food and beverage industry and counts some of the world’s largest food-related companies among its customers. The company also manufactures and markets Mrs. Richardson’s dessert sauces and Nance’s mustards/condiments in addition to producing finished goods for the private label sector.

“We celebrate the accomplishments that have contributed to our successful and consistent growth, and I’m honored to lead the charge in advancing Baldwin Richardson Foods’ evolution as an industry leader,” Tolefree said. “As we look to the future, we will continue to lead by ensuring that service to our customers, innovation, accountability and performance remain at the forefront of our relationships with our strategic partners as we create flavorful innovations that delight consumers. We will embrace the need to be agile to continue to thrive sustainably in our industry and continue to make a positive impact on our community.”

Johnson said Tolefree is deserving of the promotion.

“Under Erin’s strategic leadership, Baldwin Richardson Foods has grown its customer base to include some of the world’s most iconic global brands,” said Johnson. “With her focus on excellence, the company has won numerous awards from customers for product innovation, customer service and quality, and has earned several Supplier of the Year recognitions. Erin represents the third generation of entrepreneurial leadership in our family, and her promotion to CEO is confirmation of our commitment to continue our journey as a privately-owned family business.”

Tolefree started with the company in 2001 as a national account manager for the company’s quick service restaurant business and has risen through the ranks, including her promotion to executive vice president in 2015 and president in December 2020. Tolefree also led the acquisition of Aseptic Solutions USA Ventures, which the company said has expanded the geographic footprint and manufacturing capabilities to include high-demand aseptic products, which are shelf-stable items that do not need refrigeration.

Bob Stewart, senior vice president and chief supply chain officer, North America of McDonald’s, said that under Tolefree’s leadership, “the company has exhibited incredibly strong performance, and I am confident that her leadership as CEO will ensure the continued strength of our partnership.”

Baldwin Richardson supplies a number of sauces and syrups to McDonald’s.

According to the company, Baldwin Richardson Foods began in 1992 when Johnson purchased Baldwin Ice Cream Co. and significantly grew its sales and distribution. In 1997, Baldwin Ice Cream acquired Richardson Foods of Macedon from The Quaker Oats Co. and became Baldwin Richardson Foods. In 2001, the company said it began a “strategic supplier relationship” with Kellogg’s Co. and acquired the Industrial Products Division of The J.M. Smucker Co. in 2005. The business has grown steadily for over 32 years, the company said.

Besides Macedon and Williamson, Baldwin Richardson Foods has a Culinary Innovation Center in Westmont, Ill., and a manufacturing facility in Corona, Calif.

Get Insightful, Cutting-Edge Content Daily - Join "The Neo Jim Crow" Newsletter!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Get Insightful, Cutting-Edge, Black Content Daily - Join "The Neo Jim Crow" Newsletter!

We don’t spam! Read our [link]privacy policy[/link] for more info.

Get Insightful, Cutting-Edge, Black Content Daily - Join "The Neo Jim Crow" Newsletter!

We don’t spam! Read our [link]privacy policy[/link] for more info.

This post was originally published on this site