What’s your favorite Weaver’s product?
My favorite product is a newer one: IPA Beer Bratwurst. I eat it at least once each week for lunch. It’s great with homemade sauerkraut. I love everything we make, but I think having so much of it over the years overwhelms you, so I always lean towards the newer items.
How was it growing up in a house that owned Weaver’s? Does cooking with it make you nostalgic?
To be honest, we didn’t cook a ton of our products at home. Like in the previous question, I think having too much eventually wears on you. With that said, as a kid every time we visited my Dad at work Cole and I would get beef sticks. That is something that still makes me nostalgic. Right now his kids get the same treatment, a visit to the plant means a beef stick.
Have you always planned to take over?
Like any kid I went through a wide range of career plans. I was going to be a doctor, a Navy officer, a stock broker, and probably a few other things throughout my middle school and early high school career. When I was a junior I took an interest in business and marketing, driven by our school’s DECA program. I realized I really did have an interest in marketing and business management, and the best way for me to pursue that passion was to work within the organization my dad and Pap had already built.
What do you think the biggest change has been since you’ve become more involved?
The biggest change has been the scale of what we do. When I left college we had about 20-25 employees. Now we have 60. We used to consider Chester County to be a far away place for us to deliver, now we are in six states. Every year we are adding on a new wing to our facility. Prior to 2012 we sold about five bakery products, now we have several hundred. We used to be excited about buying full trailer loads of beef or pork, now we sell a dozen or more in a week.
Where do you see Weaver’s going?
Fortune 500 by 2035.
What are you most proud of?
I am proud that we have remained a great place to work. Our turnover is extremely low, and we have people bringing their family members to work here. Outside of the Weaver family we have several other families working here. We three sets of siblings, two married couples, three father and son combinations, and three uncle/nephew combinations.
What’s your favorite part of your work day at Weaver’s?
When it’s over. I love my job and I love working here, but work is not life. I would much rather spend my day golfing, fishing, skiing, or doing volunteer work.
Do you have any memories growing up at Weaver’s?
I have many, but I will never forget my Pap chasing me around with a steer eyeball. We used to have a slaughterhouse on the property, and while we were never on the actual killing floor as children we were occasionally in the next room while slaughtering was taking place. My Pap one time came into that room, tapped me on the shoulder, and shoved a freshly removed eyeball in my face. He thought it was hilarious. It actually didn’t shock me much, but that is probably due to the idea of a slaughterhouse being normal in our family.
What’s it like working with your family?
The main advantage is how well we know each other. There are many people I have come across in my career that feel as if they have an ulterior motive, or you aren’t really seeing their real personality. With my family, whether we agree or disagree, I know I am getting their genuine self. I will say we are all very good about compartmentalizing. We can fight like cats and dogs at work and one hour later be sitting with a beer watching the Orioles game and laughing and joking.