Denver Food Group helps our clients build the most craveable products in the world while remaining affordable. By combining our culinary experience and our research experience, we are able to give greater direction to Marketing and Product Development teams in the Food and Beverage Industry.
The Creative Guy
John has spent the last 15 years working in the Food and Beverage Industry, both CPG and Foodservice, in several different capacities, including Brand Management, Research and Development, Innovation, Culinary, and Purchasing. Most recently he worked for Wendy’s and Heinz Foodservice.
John has a passion for helping companies develop and refine their positioning to ensure they are staying relevant and differentiated.
John is well versed in Concept Testing, Annual Product Testing, Buyer Reaction Studies and Sensory Testing. With his Culinary training, John can also take these research tools a step further by providing Product Development and Optimization services.
John has a Culinary Degree from Johnson and Wales University, Wine Training from the Deutsch Vein Sommelierschule in Koblenz, Germany, and an MBA from the University of Denver
The Concept Guy
Gerard is a restaurant owner and has over 40 years’ experience in the food and beverage industry with both franchise and company operations; he has experience in the retail sector, every restaurant category, and in food manufacturing. He has a proven track record of building brands through innovation by leveraging his expertise in marketing, operations, and concept development.
Gerard has been instrumental in developing over a dozen concepts from the ground floor to include:
· Flaky Jakes, a gourmet hamburger fast casual concept, Sea Galley, a casual seafood brand, Grisanti’s, a casual Italian brand, Boston Market, the first HMR (Home Meal Replacement) concept, Boston Market Retail Fresh Store, a concept specializing in prepared foods, Rotisserie Grill, a supreme casual restaurant by Boston Market, Einstein Noah Bagels, a fast-casual bagel concept, Jupiter Grill, an upscale casual restaurant brand specializing in contemporary American cuisine, Sbarro Pizza, an off-mall (delivery, dine-In) pizzeria featuring a drive thru, Pizza Cucinova, a fast-casual upscale pizza concept, Cuba Cuba, a fast-casual Cuban concept
Gerard founded G&S Food Group in 2014, which specializes in concept innovation and food and beverage research. He has spent most of his time these last three years with McDonald’s, leading their menu turn-around effort by developing their menu and food visions. He brought his honest food vision to life and led McDonald’s in eliminating all artificial flavors and colors from many of their core food items, with the goal of eliminating preservatives by the end of 2017. He was instrumental in the “All day breakfast” and new chicken nugget launches, as well as in the testing of fresh, cooked to order hamburgers using North American beef. Gerard also worked on the new value platform, the new chicken sandwich (coming soon), breakfast innovation and snacking. He was also the executive sponsor for the kitchen design of the future.
Gerard has a long-term contract with Park 100 Foods, the premier kettle cooker in foodservice. He repositioned Park 100 foods around Custom Crafted Brand Identifying Foods, delivering homemade taste in every bowl.
Gerard was an advisor to the board and interim CEO of Logan’s Roadhouse in 2014. He held the Chief Concept Officer role at Wendy’s for 5 years, starting in 2009, and was very successful at repositioning the Wendy’s brand around an overall experience that was “A Cut Above”. Gerard led many functions at Wendy’s to include: Operations Services, Engineering, Culinary, Research, Product Marketing and New Concept Development. He also led the new kitchen design team and was the inspiration around developing the kitchen of the future, which enabled a food first culture.
Gerard was one of the original founding partners of Boston Chicken in 1992, and held almost every leadership role in the company until leaving in 2008. Gerard was instrumental in the development of Einstein Noah Bagels, a subsidiary of Boston Market, he developed the Rotisserie Grill, a supreme casual restaurant that focused on wood fired meats, and a retail fresh food market under the Boston Market brand, which served ready to heat freshly prepared meals and sandwiches. Gerard also led Boston Market into the retail space, first in the frozen meal category, and then with all natural fresh prepared meals.
Gerard has been the recipient of numerous Menu Master awards with Grisanti’s, Boston Market and Wendy’s. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, and has his MBA from Regis Jesuit University. He has been married to his wife, Stephanie, for 37 years, has two sons, two grandchildren and resides in Denver.
The Numbers Guy
Rob has over 20 years of experience in consumer insights and strategy, working for a variety of clients spanning industries, including CPG, Food and Beverage (market research and sensory), Hospitality and Resorts, Healthcare and Wellness, Outdoor Sports Industries.
Rob’s work is applicable to, and can drive results, in any industry by identifying what key constituents want and need.
Rob is experienced in utilizing many research techniques to meet client needs, with particular focus on Brand positioning & messaging, Consumer need state segmentation, New product development, Concept testing, Attitude & usage, Packaging, Pricing, Digital media & website design
Rob has a BA in Statistics from the University of Michigan, and an MBA in Marketing from the University of Colorado. He has worked on the client and consulting side of research, which gives him a broader perspective on client needs, contrasting significantly to those who have spent their careers in the consulting/agency business alone.
The Design Girl
Leticia comes to us from Belo Horizonte, Brazil! She is trained in Environmental Design and has worked in planning and administration for the past 5 years. Leticia is here following her dream of being a designer and helps Denver Food Group with all aspects of the project life cycle.... She is great at keeping us organized and making sure the train always arrives on schedule.
She is also fluent in Portuguese, for all of our Brazilian clients - Obrigada!