R. Russell Morin Jr., 25 Over Fifty-five

KEY INGREDIENT: R. Russell Morin Jr., in the kitchen at Russell Morin Catering & Events in Attleboro, says finding the right personnel was the most important step in running his business. 
 / PBN PHOTO/TRACY JENKINS
KEY INGREDIENT: R. Russell Morin Jr., in the kitchen at Russell Morin Catering & Events in Attleboro, says finding the right personnel was the most important step in running his business. 
 / PBN PHOTO/TRACY JENKINS

25 Over Fifty-Five 2019 Award Winner
R. RUSSELL MORIN JR. | President, Russell Morin Catering & Events


R. RUSSELL “RUSTY” MORIN JR. says he’s had little to do with the success of his company, ­Russell Morin Catering & Events, the caterer of choice for myriad New England-based events over the last 50 years. It’s the employees. “They’ve made me successful,” said Morin, president of the Attleboro company. “It has nothing to do with me. I realized that I was going to be successful if I had great employees.”

The food-service industry is not known for offering generous employee benefits, but Morin’s company offers its 90 full-time employees a generous benefits package, including profit-sharing, parental leave and rewards for top earners. The company’s core values – be professional, work as a team, create “wow” experiences and get it done right – are top-of-mind at the weekly staff huddle, where income statements are shared with employees.

Things have changed since Morin took over the fourth-generation food-service business in 1972. “When I started with the company in the early ’70s, it was all-male,” he recalled. “Hiring younger women … helped me grow the company.” Transitioning from his father’s red scheduling book to computerizing in 1986 also proved beneficial. After several years of running the company, Morin realized that success came when he was “sales-driven and not chef-driven.”

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With operations in several Rhode Island venues and a restaurant in Attleboro, the company continues to evolve. In addition to expanding its warehouse and sales office, Morin recently launched Fresh Eats, a new approach to healthy, upscale, casual catering. The company donates $250,000 each year to local nonprofits.

Russell Morin Catering & Events remains a family affair, with Morin’s brother, wife and two sons involved, too. Self-starter employees are those who stay and grow with the company. The company’s biggest challenge, Morin said, is keeping all the details in place to create that “wow” ­experience.

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