Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - 56

Wellshire Farms
nitrates or nitrites. Meat suppliers must also raise their livestock using animal-friendly practices.
Wellshire uses a third-party auditor to review the animal
welfare and sanitation practices at each of its suppliers' farms
and its processing plants. It also has its own quality control
department to review reports and to verify that any necessary corrective action has been taken. "It's not just about the
food," Jessica Colameco says. "It's about practicing what you
believe and operating a clean and honest business from start
to finish."

Educating Consumers

The Colameco family, which owns Wellshire
Farms, is drawn to working with other familyowned businesses and suppliers.

ameco, the company's vice president of marketing, was seven
when her father started Wellshire, and she remembers him
traveling often as he built the business.
But his determination and diligence paid off as all-natural
foods went from a niche market to a mainstream trend. "It
was inspiring to see someone be ahead of their time, and
also watch the struggle they go through," Jessica Colameco
says of her father.
Wellshire procures its meat from small, family-owned
livestock farmers and works with manufacturing facilities
to process the meat into store-ready products. All of the
formulas and spice blends that go into each product are
developed in-house, following a philosophy of using minimal ingredients.
Its bacon, for example, is dry rubbed and is not pumped
with water like many competing brands. "It's bacon the way
it should be and you can definitely tell the difference," Jessica Colameco says.
"We try to make every item with less ingredients," her
father adds. "You get more taste out of it."
Since its early focus on ham, Wellshire has expanded its
lineup to include sliced deli meats, smoked sausages, breakfast meats, liverwurst, barbecue meats and even chicken
nuggets. The common thread among all those products is
Wellshire's commitment to all-natural meats free of preservatives, antibiotics and growth hormones with no added
56

RETAIL-MERCHANDISER.COM

May/June 2017

When Wellshire began, Whole Foods Market was one of
the few retailers that shared its belief in clean ingredient
and antibiotic-free foods. Whole Foods was one of the first
major retailers to carry Wellshire products and in 2008 the
grocery store asked Wellshire to become an exclusive brand
for its nationwide stores.
The close relationship between the two companies helped
Wellshire grow but the exclusivity limited its potential
growth. To reach more retailers, Wellshire introduced Garrett Valley, a food brand that offers the same all-natural
products as Wellshire. "Garrett Valley operates under the
same core values and philosophy we've always had," Jessica Colameco says. The brand can now be found in MOM's
Organic Markets, Sprouts Farmers Markets, Earth Fare and
many other grocers that focus on clean eating.
"Our main goal with the Garrett Valley brand is educating the consumer new to the clean eating lifestyle, because
we've been doing it for 20 years," she adds. Helping consumers understand how all-natural foods can benefit their
diets and their health is the best way to turn them into customers. That is why the company sends representatives to
stores to speak with consumers, and all 22 employees at the
Wellshire office are trained in customer service.
Brochures and booklets are often included on Wellshire
displays to help retailers explain the product to shoppers.
Even the packaging is designed to educate buyers by including information on clean eating and animal raising practices. "We're always working on meaningful ways to educate
the consumer," Jessica Colameco says.

Family Values
The transformation of clean eating into a mainstream trend
has put Wellshire Farms on more plates across the country,
but it's also fostered far greater competition. Larger food
producers that once focused on shelf life and cost now offer
all-natural product lines. Wellshire Farms must fight harder
for shelf space and to differentiate its products.
The rising demand for all-natural products has also created supply issues. Vendors and processing facilities must


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017

Contents
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - Intro
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - Cover1
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - Cover2
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - 1
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - Contents
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - 3
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - 4
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - 5
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Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - 7
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Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - MCover1
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Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - M1
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