Pickle Power: How Hausbeck Pickles Became a Major Player in the Fast Food Industry
Episode 14212th January 2024 • Total Michigan • Cliff Duvernois
00:00:00 00:25:59

Share Episode

Shownotes

In this episode, we hear the fascinating journey of Hausbeck Pickles and Peppers, a family business that went from humble beginnings to playing on an international stage. The interview with the president and CEO of Hausbeck Pickles and Peppers, Tim Hausbeck, takes us through his early life, education, and the decision to join the family business. He talks about the challenges the company faced, their growth journey, and their transition from supplying local grocery stores to becoming a major supplier of Burger King, Subway, and other fast food chains.

Today, they ship out around 60 semis a week to Canada and the U.S, and their pickles are a part of over a billion meals a year. Tim also shares his business philosophy, giving insights into his leadership style. Finally, he talks about his proudest moments in the company.

Show notes:

00:00 Introduction and Sponsor Acknowledgement

01:19 Getting to Know Tim Hausbeck

03:56 The History of Hausbeck Pickles and Peppers

06:29 Challenges and Growth of the Family Business

07:28 Transition of Leadership in the Family Business

08:26 Tim's Journey into the Family Business

09:49 The Growth and Expansion of Hausbeck Pickles

13:02 The Journey of Landing Major Fast Food Chains

19:00 The Challenges of Expansion and Growth

22:36 The Decision to Stay in Saginaw

23:48 Tim's Ascension to President and CEO

Links:

Hausbeck Pickles and Peppers Website: https://hausbeck.com

Sponsor:

Stevens Center for Family Business: https://svsu.edu/scfb

Transcripts

Cliff Duvernois:

Today's episode is brought to you by the Stevens Center

2

:

for Family Business, whose mission

is to support the success of family

3

:

businesses through the generations with

education, networking, and collaboration.

4

:

Tim Hausbeck: This is now 1980.

5

:

Things really changed for us.

6

:

Yes, they did.

7

:

Now it may not seem like a lot,

but they, at the time, they gave

8

:

us the state of Michigan to supply.

9

:

Our business transformed.

10

:

Cliff Duvernois: Hello, everyone, and

welcome back to Total Michigan, where

11

:

we interview ordinary Michiganders

doing some pretty extraordinary things.

12

:

I'm your host, Cliff DuVernois.

13

:

So today I'm in the very up

and coming city of Saginaw.

14

:

I love talking to family businesses

and family business owners and their

15

:

stories to me are just so compelling.

16

:

And there seems to be just this

recurring theme lately with a lot of the

17

:

episodes I've been doing, which we're

going to talk about later on today.

18

:

Uh, but what this company did started from

very humble beginnings and is literally

19

:

now playing in an international stage.

20

:

Ladies and gentlemen, I am coming

to you from the headquarters of

21

:

Hausbeck Pickles and Peppers with

the, uh, president, uh, Tim Hausbeck.

22

:

Tim, how are you?

23

:

Tim Hausbeck: I'm doing well, Cliff.

24

:

I'm very honored to be

part of your show today.

25

:

Cliff Duvernois: Excellent.

26

:

Thank you for being here.

27

:

Why don't you tell us a little bit about

where you're from and where you grew up.

28

:

Tim Hausbeck: Our plant is here located

in:

29

:

My parents, their first home,

I'm number five or seven kids was

30

:

literally across the street, four

homes across the street from here.

31

:

And actually in the hallway, there's

a picture of my dad holding me and

32

:

in the driveway and in the background

is where we're located, but there

33

:

wasn't a pickle company back then.

34

:

There was actually a company

that made wooden rulers.

35

:

Many of us might have in our toolbox

a Lufkin brand ruler, tape measure.

36

:

Well, they had a plant here in Saginaw.

37

:

Now, it's a pickle plant.

38

:

Cliff Duvernois: So I, I, I think I

remember when you talk about one of these,

39

:

is it one of those ones that like unfolds?

40

:

Tim Hausbeck: Yeah.

41

:

Remember those wooden rulers back then?

42

:

Yeah.

43

:

So there was a large foundry here

that or plant that made wooden rulers.

44

:

And that was part of the first

industry in Michigan or in

45

:

Saginaw was the lumber industry.

46

:

We have a tank yard, a fermentation yard

on the other side of the river, a mile

47

:

and a half, two miles is a crow flies.

48

:

Before that was a pickle facility.

49

:

It was a toothpick factory.

50

:

You know, you got all this lumber and

what do you do with the pieces that aren't

51

:

being made to make homes or buildings?

52

:

Well, they made toothpicks

out of the scraps.

53

:

Cliff Duvernois: Man, we could spend

an hour just talking about that right

54

:

there, but we got to talk about pickles.

55

:

We got to talk about you.

56

:

Okay.

57

:

So you grew up here in Saginaw.

58

:

Tim Hausbeck: Yes.

59

:

Did you go to college?

60

:

Yes.

61

:

Where'd you go?

62

:

Uh, first went to Delta Community

College, followed my older

63

:

brothers and my older siblings.

64

:

And again, I'm number five of seven kids.

65

:

And then after that, I followed in

the same path, didn't even apply

66

:

anywhere else but Michigan State.

67

:

There you go.

68

:

So go green.

69

:

Cliff Duvernois: Go green.

70

:

What did you, what did you

study while you were there?

71

:

Finance.

72

:

Finance.

73

:

Tim Hausbeck: Why, why finance?

74

:

You know, when you come out of high

school, a lot of times you don't know what

75

:

you want to do, and I'm just like, I'm

not untypical than others, a counselor

76

:

said, Hey, this might be something good.

77

:

I, you know, that, you know, you just

sort of, I tried, uh, I thought maybe

78

:

I wanted to be an engineer, physics

and chemistry was a little too much

79

:

for me to really I knew that that

wasn't going to be for me, right?

80

:

I liked economics, so I just went

into business and, and at one

81

:

point in time, I thought I might

want them to be a stockbroker.

82

:

So I followed finance.

83

:

I did an internship at a Merrill

Lynch between my junior and senior

84

:

college did not like that work.

85

:

So I still stuck with my degree and

I found that sales was best for me.

86

:

Oh, interesting.

87

:

Cliff Duvernois: Yeah.

88

:

Well, so what I'm going to do is

I'm going to put a pin in that right

89

:

now, because as you're growing up.

90

:

As you're going to college, Hausbeck

Pickles is going in the background.

91

:

Was it started by your grandparents?

92

:

Tim Hausbeck: Yes, and

actually we're celebrating our

93

:

100th anniversary this year.

94

:

Happy birthday!

95

:

Thank you.

96

:

It was founded in 1923 on M13, which is

just outside the city limits of Saginaw.

97

:

We were there for 80

years, very small facility.

98

:

We were landlocked.

99

:

So as we were trying to grow,

we couldn't go any, you know,

100

:

there was no place to expanse.

101

:

We found this property where we

are sitting on four city blocks

102

:

that we can control and expand.

103

:

But back then it was founded

by my grandfather, Charles

104

:

and his wife, Rose Hausbeck.

105

:

Cliff Duvernois: Did you, did you

ever learn the reason why they decided

106

:

to go into the pickling business?

107

:

Tim Hausbeck: It was the great depression.

108

:

And there wasn't a lot of work.

109

:

So they knew a little

bit about making pickles.

110

:

So there was literally just a

few people that were fermenting.

111

:

Small cucumbers in barrels, 50 gallon

wooden barrels, which actually the

112

:

interesting thing there where they got

their barrels from were from distilleries.

113

:

Oh, I did not know that.

114

:

Yeah, so they would unload these barrels

and what the main item we make made back

115

:

then was you would take fresh cucumbers

and put them in this 50 gallon barrel

116

:

with brine with a lot of dill weed.

117

:

Yes.

118

:

And so they were called genuine deals

and they were a big hit back then and

119

:

they were drop shipped to different.

120

:

Tiny corner grocery stores all over the

state of Michigan, but interesting thing

121

:

about these distilled barrels I hope I

don't get in trouble because I didn't do

122

:

it but back then They would take these

barrels and there would still be some

123

:

whiskey They'd put them in the Sun and

let them dry out Maybe they should have

124

:

just fermented pickles in whiskey barrels

and that would have been something, you

125

:

know It'll had maybe a bourbon taste to

them but but they'd actually get a one

126

:

or two quarts of whiskey out of these

barrels and And again, it was prohibition

127

:

and, uh, I was just going to ask that.

128

:

People had access to liquor.

129

:

Cliff Duvernois: Cause I'm

sure the statute of limitations

130

:

has long since expired.

131

:

So nobody's going to come

and arrest you today.

132

:

So initially it, it was your

grandparents started making pickles,

133

:

putting them in jars and then

sending them out to grocery stores.

134

:

Tim Hausbeck: Yes.

135

:

Uh, my dad.

136

:

Uh, who's no longer

with us, lived to be 93.

137

:

He's been gone six years.

138

:

He would go with his father

on this, these old style steak

139

:

trucks to the, around the state.

140

:

They'd spend a weekend dropping cases of

pickles off at these little corner, tiny

141

:

grocery stores that we all used to have.

142

:

We don't, and it wasn't like the big

stores that we have today, whether

143

:

it be a Kroger or Meyer or what have

you, but tiny little corner markets.

144

:

Cliff Duvernois: And then the company gets

up and running, things are going rather

145

:

unexpectedly, your grandfather passed.

146

:

Tim Hausbeck: Yeah, first big

challenge to our hundred year company.

147

:

I mean, it could have

folded right then and there.

148

:

The founder dies, leaving

his wife and six kids behind.

149

:

So what did she do?

150

:

Well, some of her oldest sons were

part of the business, so, and she

151

:

had someone helping her, so they kept

trudging on, trying to do what they did.

152

:

Again, fortunately, they had, she

had two older boys that were probably

153

:

around 18 years old at the time.

154

:

Good.

155

:

That were able to at least carry on.

156

:

But it coulda, coulda

ended right then and there.

157

:

And then, you know, the next

challenge came along as World War II.

158

:

So now she, we lose half our

workforce going off to either

159

:

World War II or the Korean War.

160

:

Sweet Moses.

161

:

Yeah, so now you're left with a,

again, a skeleton crew once again.

162

:

Cliff Duvernois: Now, how long

did your grandmother and the two,

163

:

the two sons, I think you said,

how long did they run the company?

164

:

Tim Hausbeck: After like my father and

two of my uncles came back from World War

165

:

Two and Korean War, they, they started

helping out with their mother again, and

166

:

it was somewhere in the mid 70s that she

turned over the ownership and control

167

:

of the company to four of her sons.

168

:

Cliff Duvernois: So she was involved with

the business from the very beginning,

169

:

in 23, and ran it until the mid 70s.

170

:

That's 50 years!

171

:

Tim Hausbeck: Yeah.

172

:

Even back when I was young,

growing up in the business, phone

173

:

calls, so at my grandparent's

house were right behind the plant.

174

:

And so phone calls would

actually come through.

175

:

My grandmother and she would, she was

the secretary if you are the, you know,

176

:

person answering calls and then she

would transfer them to the plant if

177

:

someone needed to talk to someone else.

178

:

There's a memory for you.

179

:

Yeah, it was interesting.

180

:

Cliff Duvernois: You said you, she

transferred it to your father and

181

:

then three of the other brothers.

182

:

Yes.

183

:

Okay.

184

:

So there's four of them now that

are basically running the business.

185

:

Yeah.

186

:

Oh, yes.

187

:

At that time.

188

:

Right now, if we fast

forward a little bit.

189

:

You've now graduated from college.

190

:

What made you decide to get

into the family business?

191

:

Tim Hausbeck: Well, I have to back

up a little bit more than that.

192

:

Working in the family business

with my siblings, my cousins,

193

:

a lot of hard work for minimum

wage, and it was my generation.

194

:

That was the first generation to,

to actually get a college degrees.

195

:

So there was a lot more opportunities

for everybody else to go elsewhere.

196

:

So it was my brother, Joe,

who's the other owner, who's 70.

197

:

Received his degree in food

science from Michigan State.

198

:

He was actually the first one to

come back after getting a degree.

199

:

He helped a lot by what he

took and what was learned.

200

:

There was a lot of research being

done on fermentation and how

201

:

to improve quality and yield.

202

:

So he took a lot of these things that

were being done in the 60s and 70s.

203

:

He graduated in 1976 and was able to

start implementing these things in our

204

:

fermentation process, which started

improving quality and our yield.

205

:

So then back to me, I wasn't part

of the company after I graduated.

206

:

I was out working for a couple different

companies for a couple of years and not

207

:

really thinking about the family business.

208

:

But as I matured, got a little bit

older, I'm like, you know what?

209

:

I think I can come back and

make the company better as well.

210

:

Just like my brother, Joe.

211

:

Cliff Duvernois: So when you talk

about making the company better,

212

:

did you have some ideas when you

were coming back, like already?

213

:

Tim Hausbeck: Not initially, but I had a

desire, I didn't have any visions at the

214

:

moment, but I felt that, you know, I knew

how to do things, they were starting to

215

:

grow, uh, this is now 1992, uh, we had

n supplying Burger King since:

216

:

that was our first fast food facility, or

fast food customer that we've ever had,

217

:

and we still are with Burger King today.

218

:

But the company was still quite small.

219

:

You had seven employees and

I knew how to do everything.

220

:

Cliff Duvernois: Wait a minute.

221

:

You still had seven employees in 92.

222

:

Yeah.

223

:

Tim Hausbeck: There was only

still a handful of employees.

224

:

Sweet Moses.

225

:

Yeah.

226

:

Now in the summertime, you might have,

you know, 10 seasonal employees that

227

:

would help you through a pack season.

228

:

But again, mostly you're seven people

and, uh, four of those were the owners.

229

:

Cliff Duvernois: And how many

employees do you have today?

230

:

Tim Hausbeck: A hundred.

231

:

A hundred.

232

:

Year round.

233

:

So you've grown.

234

:

Yes, we, we will still, now in, in the

summertime, when we're at our grading

235

:

operation, and a little bit here at our

production, we will bring on about another

236

:

hundred employees for two to three months.

237

:

Cliff Duvernois: So between 92

with seven employees and:

238

:

Yes.

239

:

That's a tenfold increase.

240

:

Tim Hausbeck: Yes.

241

:

I never wanted to grow to where

we have a thousand employees.

242

:

My philosophy has been, and

still is today, that through

243

:

automation, I don't want a thousand

people making minimum wage.

244

:

I'd rather have a hundred

people making a living wage.

245

:

Cliff Duvernois: And for our

audience, we're going to take a

246

:

quick break and thank our sponsors.

247

:

When we come back, we're going

to talk about how all of these

248

:

skills have Hausbeck Pickles

on the international stage.

249

:

We'll see you after the break.

250

:

The Stevens Center for Family

Business supports the success of

251

:

family owned businesses throughout

the Great Lakes region of Michigan.

252

:

It provides a wealth of resources that

family owned businesses can access to

253

:

leverage the unique strengths that are

inherent to the family owned enterprise.

254

:

The center provides educational

opportunities about managing the

255

:

Often complicated combination

of family and business.

256

:

Members attend networking

events where family leaders can

257

:

share their experiences, learn

from one another, drawing on

258

:

experts from around the country.

259

:

The center also focuses on topics and

issues that are unique to family business.

260

:

This includes maintaining family harmony,

succession planning, preparing the

261

:

next generation, conflict resolution,

governance, family dynamics, policy

262

:

development, company culture, and.

263

:

On and on, regardless of the size of the

family business or the number of years

264

:

in your history, the Stevens Center for

Family Business is a valuable resource for

265

:

helping to secure the ongoing legacy of

your multi generational family business.

266

:

The Stevens Center for Family

Business, where networking and

267

:

knowledge meet to support the

success of family owned businesses.

268

:

For more information, please go to svsu.

269

:

edu slash scfb or contact

:

270

:

Two seven, seven, six.

271

:

Hello everyone.

272

:

And welcome back to total Michigan,

where we interview ordinary Michiganders

273

:

doing some pretty extraordinary things.

274

:

I'm your host, Cliff Devenois.

275

:

Today, we're talking with Tim

Hausbeck from Hausbeck pickles and

276

:

peppers out of Saginaw, Michigan.

277

:

One of the things that you mentioned

before was landing Burger King.

278

:

As a client, your little pickle company

with seven employees, servicing.

279

:

Burger King.

280

:

Sweet Moses.

281

:

So your dad wins his contract.

282

:

I guess my question, my first question

is what in the world made him think

283

:

that your pickle place here in Saginaw

could support a major franchise?

284

:

Tim Hausbeck: My dad was a middle

child and he was very charismatic,

285

:

but he was our first salesperson.

286

:

So this is back in the mid to late

seventies that he was actually going

287

:

and talking to local franchises of

both McDonald's and Burger Kings.

288

:

So we were actually just taking a

truck, like those corner grocery stores

289

:

I mentioned, he was drop shipping

pails of pickles off to small Or

290

:

local McDonald's and Burger King's.

291

:

There we go.

292

:

We were actually doing well with that,

but as McDonald's and Burger King's, which

293

:

were still somewhat in their infancy,

they became a little bit more professional

294

:

or if you, as they were growing, they

realized they can't have all these

295

:

franchises buying whatever they want.

296

:

They need to consolidate the purchasing.

297

:

Cliff Duvernois: Yes, because a

Whopper needs to taste the same,

298

:

whether it's in Detroit, Michigan,

or Los Angeles, California.

299

:

Tim Hausbeck: That is correct.

300

:

We actually.

301

:

These stores told us they

couldn't buy from us anymore.

302

:

So this is like 1976, 78, and we were

just starting to do well with them.

303

:

And this was, you know, good

revenue for a small company.

304

:

And I remember that year,

you know, it was a lean year.

305

:

I was in middle school and losing

some of these local stores that we

306

:

were starting to count on, uh, was.

307

:

A big challenge for us.

308

:

It, it hurt financially.

309

:

Thank goodness for a franchisee

that was located in, in, in Lansing,

310

:

Michigan, his name is Norm Spaulding

was a large franchisee or was growing

311

:

as a large franchisee for Burger King.

312

:

His store in Lansing was the

number one store in Michigan.

313

:

And we owe a lot to Norm Spaulding.

314

:

It was he Shout out to Norm.

315

:

Yeah.

316

:

It was he that said, I don't like

the pickles that I'm told to buy.

317

:

I like these Hausbeck branded pickles.

318

:

So Burger King, he was a big enough

franchisee that they listened to him.

319

:

They listened to him and they

approved us as a supplier.

320

:

This is now 1980.

321

:

Things really changed for us.

322

:

Yes, they did.

323

:

Now, it may not seem like a lot, but

they at the time, they gave us the state

324

:

of Michigan to supply our business.

325

:

Transformed just supplying the

whole state of Michigan was

326

:

a large hurdle to overcome.

327

:

Cliff Duvernois: So let's put this in

a little bit of perspective because

328

:

you say the state of Michigan.

329

:

Yeah, but there could have

been like three Burger Kings.

330

:

Tim Hausbeck: Well, now

there were probably 100.

331

:

Cliff Duvernois: Okay, so that is huge.

332

:

Yeah, that is huge.

333

:

Tim Hausbeck: Yeah.

334

:

Taking probably using three, four pails of

pickles a week or pay a pails of pickles

335

:

a week and you times that that's a lot

of pails for us to deliver or to produce.

336

:

Yes, no, I didn't leave a lot of

time to do some of the other things

337

:

like the retail items we were making.

338

:

Cliff Duvernois: Was this one of those

situations where like your dad goes out,

339

:

puts out this bid, says we can do it.

340

:

Burger King says, Yeah, we'll

give you the state of Michigan.

341

:

He says, awesome.

342

:

You guys celebrate.

343

:

And then all of a sudden, like,

how are we going to do this?

344

:

Was it?

345

:

Was it one of those?

346

:

It was.

347

:

Tim Hausbeck: Yeah.

348

:

Yeah.

349

:

I mean, a lot of You know, that's

part of what coming back is they

350

:

were working five days a week to

just to supply one major customer.

351

:

Now at the other time we were actually

supplying Meijer Thrifty Acres with

352

:

and other smaller chains of grocery

stores with our retail items.

353

:

And we would.

354

:

Package all those up for the most part

in the summer and into the fall, but

355

:

the rest of the year was just supplying

Burger King and Burger King, like many

356

:

other quick service restaurants like

McDonald's, we're growing at 40 percent

357

:

a year where our, our grocery store

stuff was very flat and in some ways

358

:

shrinking, uh, because that section on

the shelves were starting to shrink.

359

:

I think my biggest thing that I was

able to offer when I came back to

360

:

the company is you see this growth.

361

:

It was pretty.

362

:

Fast food chains are continuing to grow.

363

:

I was I was able to convince my,

now it was just my dad, my brother

364

:

Joe, and my dad's youngest brother,

Richard, were the owners, and I was

365

:

able to convince them that we should

really focus on more fast food chains.

366

:

And, and perhaps I even said we

should probably leave retail behind.

367

:

My dad said we needed to have

some market research done, so we

368

:

found a company out of Midland.

369

:

And they did a bunch of market

research, which basically supported

370

:

what I was already offering.

371

:

So they had evidence behind it.

372

:

And so that's what we started doing.

373

:

We started calling on other

fast food chains and slowly but

374

:

surely pulled away from retail.

375

:

Cliff Duvernois: Well, I think

another part of this puzzle too,

376

:

is that if you get comfortable

with just having a Burger King.

377

:

Which is probably a large

portion of your income.

378

:

Yes.

379

:

If Burger King decides one day, you know

what, we don't like pickles anymore.

380

:

You guys are out the door.

381

:

Correct.

382

:

Then, you know, 80 percent of

your revenue just evaporated.

383

:

Correct.

384

:

Overnight.

385

:

So it almost makes sense that like, you

know what, we need to find more clients.

386

:

Like a Burger King and move

forward and get them so we're

387

:

not if so if we lose one, we're

388

:

Tim Hausbeck: okay Yes, very hard

to do one because our company was

389

:

very conservative with regards to

debt and we didn't have any debt

390

:

My my dad and his brothers all

grew up in the Great Depression.

391

:

So you didn't stand is evil.

392

:

Yes I another hand was different

393

:

Cliff Duvernois: So I didn't

394

:

Tim Hausbeck: have trouble borrowing money

and spending it to increase capacity.

395

:

Cliff Duvernois: That's right.

396

:

Cause you're an eighties kid.

397

:

So let's talk about this here because

you brought this up and you talk about,

398

:

we need to find more Burger Kings.

399

:

Tim Hausbeck: There's

even another challenge.

400

:

So we're doing a good job for Burger King

and they want more and more and more,

401

:

and they want to give us more states.

402

:

So now you're also trying to keep

up with this capacity, just growing.

403

:

Still, the problem is getting worse

where you're, you're sole sourced or

404

:

you're one customer now is representing

over 90 percent of your revenue and

405

:

they want to keep giving you more.

406

:

So times are good, but

you need to diversify.

407

:

Cliff Duvernois: So Burger King

comes back to you and says, you

408

:

guys are doing a bang up job.

409

:

Yes.

410

:

Michigan's covered.

411

:

We love you.

412

:

Did they say, here's Indiana?

413

:

Or did they say, here's

the Eastern half of the U.

414

:

S.?

415

:

How did that work?

416

:

Tim Hausbeck: In between.

417

:

Like, here's the upper

Midwest we want to give you.

418

:

Cliff Duvernois: Oh, Sweet Moses.

419

:

Right.

420

:

Now, how much lead time did they

give you to be able to do that?

421

:

Tim Hausbeck: Usually the contracts

are based on one year at a time.

422

:

So typically six months.

423

:

Notice now, there's a lot

that has to go around that.

424

:

I mean, first of all, you got to

have enough fermentation space.

425

:

These are all fermented pickles.

426

:

And then there's the whole

fermentation process, which you need

427

:

tanks to store them in, and then

you got to go out to your farmers.

428

:

So when it comes to the

food business, ramping up.

429

:

Finding more acres, more farmers

to plant more cucumbers for you.

430

:

You got to have the storage to hold them

and ferment them in those processes.

431

:

Even though they may want to give you

business, you have to just plan for it.

432

:

And even though they may give

you six months, it still takes

433

:

a year to two years of planning.

434

:

So we knew that it was happening.

435

:

So we kept increasing

our capacity as we could.

436

:

So we always were ahead

of the game a little bit.

437

:

We never took on more

than what we could handle.

438

:

Cliff Duvernois: When you first

started out Hausbeck, you made a

439

:

comment about being landlocked.

440

:

Oh, right.

441

:

You really couldn't get more

land to get to, to build a bigger

442

:

facility versus where we are today.

443

:

So was was it about this time?

444

:

Tim Hausbeck: No, this would've

been around:

445

:

Oh, oh, okay.

446

:

That we, you know, we

needed to expand more.

447

:

Our customers were going now in

:

448

:

were started supplying Subway.

449

:

So that volume.

450

:

They were a large QSR and they

weren't just buying pickles.

451

:

They were buying now jalapeno

peppers and banana peppers.

452

:

They actually came to us

in:

453

:

But at the time we didn't know anything

about how to make a jalapeno or pickles.

454

:

Yeah.

455

:

And again, we didn't know

where to source them.

456

:

We were able to play around with it,

but the opportunity came back around in

457

:

2001 because Subway was growing so fast.

458

:

They needed to expand their supply base.

459

:

Cliff Duvernois: Because in

addition to Subway, it's.

460

:

Taco Bell, it's Chick fil A, Domino's,

Pizza Hut, and the list goes on and on of

461

:

all of these fast food chains that have

come to you and said, we need pickles, we

462

:

need jalapenos, we need banana peppers, we

need, and you're able now to provide it.

463

:

Tim Hausbeck: Yes.

464

:

To give you a little bit of scale, out

of Saginaw, Michigan, right here, we ship

465

:

out on average around 60 semis a week.

466

:

Going out between Canada and the U.

467

:

S.

468

:

Oh, sweet Moses.

469

:

Yeah.

470

:

Conservatively, if you assume that,

the pizza places that we supply,

471

:

if you want a jalapeno or banana

pepper on your pizza, at one of those

472

:

chains I mentioned, there's a good

chance it's coming from Hausbeck.

473

:

And assuming that there's a large pizza

serves four meals, I would say, and when

474

:

you add up how many slices they might

put on a burger, a chicken sandwich,

475

:

Subway, uh, deli style sandwich,

we're on over a billion meals a year

476

:

between Canada and the United States.

477

:

Okay, so let's go.

478

:

I know, it's a big number.

479

:

Cliff Duvernois: No, it, it, well,

yeah, it is a big number, but.

480

:

I just, I, uh, I admire it.

481

:

Why did you choose to stay in

Saginaw versus go out in the middle

482

:

of like nowhere where you could

get land, probably a lot cheaper.

483

:

Tim Hausbeck: I was thinking

about leaving Saginaw.

484

:

We're in a peninsula state and all

these trucks are coming up out of

485

:

the main arteries of thoroughfare.

486

:

So I actually started looking at

properties in Southern Michigan,

487

:

Northern Ohio, Northern Indiana.

488

:

I actually found a site that was pretty

good in Northern Indiana around Angola.

489

:

But then again, I started thinking,

you know, this particular site

490

:

came up and back in the twenties on

the eastern edge of this four city

491

:

block, Heinz had a small operation.

492

:

One of the problems of moving into

a new area is not everybody wants to

493

:

rezone land to have a pickle company.

494

:

And then I also thought about the

synergies of not having any, this is

495

:

where our roots are and no one would have

to move and you start this plant while

496

:

we're still running the other plant and

they're only a mile away from each other.

497

:

So employees aren't being put

out if they're having to work

498

:

at one plant versus the next.

499

:

I think in hindsight, we might've

failed moving to another facility

500

:

and trying to operate out of two

people out of two different areas.

501

:

Sure.

502

:

Cliff Duvernois: And one of the

things that I would like to cover

503

:

is that, you know, you join the

company, things are expanding.

504

:

At some point, you stepped up.

505

:

To be the president and

CEO of Hausbeck Pickles.

506

:

Talk to us about that journey there.

507

:

How did you do that?

508

:

Tim Hausbeck: It's hard to remember

exactly how that came down.

509

:

I just know that when I was invited to

be an owner, my brother, Joe, who's the

510

:

other owner was running this tank yard.

511

:

He actually left for a short

period of time and it was:

512

:

My brother wanted to buy this tank

yard that was owned by Vlasic Pickle.

513

:

That's.

514

:

On the other side, on the west

side of this, uh, of Saginaw.

515

:

And, uh, my father and my uncle

didn't want anything to do with it.

516

:

It was a lot of work there

late in their careers.

517

:

They didn't want to invest in this thing.

518

:

I thought it was an interesting

opportunity, so my brother didn't want

519

:

to pass on it, so he left Hausbeck

Pickle to go start this company.

520

:

It was called Custom Foods.

521

:

So now I was left behind, and again,

we were, we had maybe 20 people at the

522

:

time, and you know, I was just thrust

into this leadership position where

523

:

my brother had been filling that role.

524

:

He then ran this fermentation yard.

525

:

We became one of his customers.

526

:

So he was running that.

527

:

Uh, and then our company started growing

with Subway and other organizations.

528

:

I was running sales.

529

:

I was running production,

overseeing all the departments.

530

:

And my dad just had decided that.

531

:

I proven to be a good leader.

532

:

He crowned me the next president CEO.

533

:

Cliff Duvernois: Tim, if somebody is

listening to this and they want to

534

:

check out more about Hausbeck pickles,

maybe find you guys online, what would

535

:

be the best way for them to do that?

536

:

Tim Hausbeck: Hausbeck.

537

:

com gives you everything you need to know.

538

:

And we're also on Facebook.

539

:

Cliff Duvernois: Tim, thank you so much

for taking time to chat with us today.

540

:

I really appreciate it.

541

:

And this is one of those interviews

I'd love to see here and pick your

542

:

brain all day, but thank you so much

for taking time to chat with us today.

543

:

Tim Hausbeck: Cliff.

544

:

Thank you for this time.

545

:

And it was a very much as much

of an honor to be here today.

546

:

And so thank you.

547

:

Cliff Duvernois: And for our audience, you

can always roll on over to total michigan.

548

:

com and click on Tim's interview and

get the links that he mentioned above.

549

:

We'll talk to you next week when we

talk to another Michigander doing

550

:

some pretty extraordinary things.

551

:

We'll see you then.

Follow