Another in our ongoing series we’re doing on Ramey “past lives” – about the strange and wonderful places we’ve worked, the forces that brought us here to Ramey, and the experiences that help make us who we are. This time it’s Wynn Saggus, VP/Group Account Director.
Is there a previous job you had that would surprise most folks? Give us your coolest/craziest gig and where and when.
Anyone who has dined at my home would be surprised to hear that I used to work at a food manufacturing company. Or perhaps horrified might be more accurate. It’s not that I don’t love good cooking – it’s just that I consider it to be more of a spectator sport than anything approaching full contact. On the other hand, as a chef, I’m a terrific shopper.
Tell us a little bit about your position.
Shortly after graduate school, I joined the Marzetti Company in Columbus, Ohio, as a marketing assistant in their foodservice division. It was a “whatever it takes” position – creating collateral, writing copy, creating reports, supporting distributors, working with sales, trade shows, etc. We supported about six brands at that time – from salad dressing to desserts to breads and pastas. And by the way, there are some really, really big jars of mayonnaise out there in the restaurant world.
What would surprise us the most about your job?
I was responsible for helping to manage taste tests of new products. Sounds great, right? Oh sure, there’s the apple pie tasting, the french bread tasting – people line up for those. But there’s also the early morning salad dressing session. Nothing like recruiting groups of people to test six kinds of blue cheese dressing formulas before their morning coffee. Tip: Look for people who really enjoy antacids.
What’s your favorite memory?
The early morning salad dressing tests. Let me tell you friends, people get deeply bonded during those sessions.
Did you learn anything there that you’ve taken with you in life?
“Whatever it takes” is a great way to work. And please, keep your dressings refrigerated.