Five Questions With Jamie Schapiro

Jamie Schapiro | CEO, Granny Squibb Co.

1. You worked with the company on a plan for growth. How will this help you lead it as CEO? Through my time consulting at Granny Squibb’s, I was able to familiarize myself with the company culture, team and potential for the brand. I also quickly determined new opportunities and identified specific resource gaps. One of the growth drivers in the plan is developing the team. In addition to our new project manager, Emma Haskell, we’ve added Ana Mallozzi [as director of operations].

2. What are the areas of growth for Granny Squibb’s in farmers markets and other direct-to-consumer events? We have aggressive plans to integrate our products at direct-to-consumer events throughout Rhode Island this summer and our event calendar is already full. Our most exciting consumer event is the Newport Folk Festival, where we are the official iced tea. We will have a big presence and it will be our coming-out party for our newest product-packaging format: ready-to-drink iced-tea cans.

3. How many commercial markets is the iced-tea line sold through, and are you trying to expand to more stores or within existing stores with more product, better placement? Our products are sold in five commercial markets, mainly Rhode Island with additional distribution in [Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine]. Our ultimate goal is to quickly expand within Rhode Island by entering new channels that would not accept a glass bottle, such as ferries, country clubs and local beaches. As for placement, we always try to improve our shelf presence.

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4. One of your goals is to make Granny Squibb’s a household name. What is the marketing plan for that? Our goal is to establish Granny Squibb’s as the leading local beverage in Rhode Island. In order to achieve this, it’s about engaging with the local community and finding the right balance in driving awareness by supporting local events and organizations, engaging with consumers through social media, and utilizing influencers to spread the word.

5. Why did you want to become the CEO of this company? When I accepted the original consulting project last year, I never expected to become CEO. During the project, I really enjoyed working with the team and found an immediate passion for the brand. I’ve been so impressed by the team’s commitment to innovation and growth while maintaining brand integrity.

Mary MacDonald is a PBN staff writer. Contact her at Macdonald@PBN.com.