FreshRealm - The Power of Fresh Thinking - About Us
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the leadership team
MICHAEL LIPPOLD, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, is responsible for the strategic vision of FreshRealm. “Right now food technology is in version 1.0, but we spend a lot of time making sure the 2.0 version is on the right path.” Lippold began his career by cold-calling a stock brokerage house in his hometown of Minneapolis to land an unpaid internship, and he’s been building connections and partnerships ever since. “Relationships brought me from one opportunity to another, until I arrived at FreshRealm. A lot of our success now stems from our corporate culture, from bringing in people who care about what we’re building and who want to be good to each other.” A graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College with a degree in financial economics, Lippold thrived in the highly analytical, technologically advanced quantitative hedge fund world. As a portfolio manager and research analyst, he devoted his time to understanding how companies both inside and outside of the food industry can evolve to improve a whole industry’s productivity. “It was eye-opening to see how little technology and mathematics were applied in the food industry — there was a clear opportunity.” Lippold carried these insights to his next role leading strategy for Calavo Growers, the largest avocado company in the world. There, his understanding of the perishable fresh- prep industry led to the acquisition of Renaissance Food Group, “the best fresh food company in America and now a key FreshRealm partner.” Lippold’s focus at FreshRealm is building powerful relationships with partners including Renaissance, FedEx, Terra’s Kitchen, and WeightWatchers. “It’s important to me that we are working together with our partners through the entire journey of setting up each business and ensuring mutual success.” With its innovative, thought-leader approach to technology, distribution, and fulfillment, FreshRealm is revolutionizing the fresh prepped food industry. “My job is to make sure all of the pieces connect in the right way.” Lippold lives in Ventura, California, with his wife and four children.
BILL FARRELL, has a long history of designing solutions for healthier families. A mechanical engineering graduate of the University of Minnesota, Farrell began his career at Medtronic, rising from design to leadership roles in operations and business development for the largest medical device manufacturer in the U.S. After 13 years, Farrell launched Vizsy, a time-management app to help busy families organize their lives. There, research and experience confirmed that the biggest trouble spot was the 5 o’clock hour, as parents struggled to find time for healthy meals while juggling two jobs. Farrell focused on an engineering solution to the dinnertime crunch: “If we went straight to the food suppliers and fresh-prepped the food, we could cut down on distribution time, and create a more convenient meal kit with less waste.” Farrell connected with Michael Lippold, whose company had just acquired Renaissance Food Group and who was already contemplating a more efficient meal kit model. Soon Farrell and Vizsy’s resources were integrated into FreshRealm. Farrell led the team that designed the state-of-the-art FreshPorter™, FreshRealm’s proprietary vessel that allows for efficient, temperature-controlled shipping of prepared fresh ingredients, already pre- cut, chopped, and diced. “We set out to be the world leader in food safety, reducing food waste while offering the greatest variety of meals and the most convenience at dinnertime. And we are achieving this through efficient use of technology.” Farrell lives in Ventura, California, with his wife and their busy family of three kids and two dogs. Farrell plays and coaches hockey and also surfs. “I love water sports, whether the water is frozen or not.” At FreshRealm, Farrell leads the execution team, managing operations, fulfillment, design, manufacturing, sourcing, and quality control.
KEN CATCHOT, CFO, is a food-industry veteran with more than 35 years of professional experience in produce distribution and the value-added fresh cut food processing business. He has an entrepreneurial spirit that allows him to envision the successful path of a new business and the fortitude to see the business down the path. As a kid, Catchot helped out at his grandfather’s produce market in Sacramento. After attending California State, Chico, Catchot partnered with his brother to start JC Produce, a fresh food distribution company that they built up to 300 employees. Since then, Catchot has been starting, running, and growing food companies ever since.As president and partner of Club Fresh in the ’90s and early 2000s, Catchot spearheaded the produce supplier’s entry into value-added fresh food, selling pre-cut, prepared fruits and vegetables to restaurants and retailers. From there he served as president and partner at Taylor Farms Pacific, where they successfully ventured into new market segments and grew business opportunities dynamically in the value-added category.Drawing from these experiences, Catchot co-founded Renaissance Food Group, now a market leader in fresh food. “With seven plants across the country designed for just-in-time order taking, we built an infrastructure to deliver perishable food with the highest quality and food safety standards, shortening the time cycle from ordering to preparing the food and delivering it to the customer.”After Renaissance was bought by Calavo Growers in 2011, Catchot in 2015 was serving as president and COO of Calavo until joining the team at FreshRealm in 2017. The company Catchot founded is now a key partner for FreshRealm, which utilizes Renaissance’s plants to produce an almost limitless variety of fresh prepped food options. “We’ve changed the way perishable food can be efficiently moved from farm to table, reducing delivery time from harvest, so that we’re able to provide affordable, fresh prepped meals to every household in America.”Catchot lives in Southern California with his wife of 30 years and has two grown daughters.
JEN MOJO, CMO, is a champion for the consumer in the fresh food movement. “I grew up in the Midwest eating frosted cereal for breakfast and grocery-store cupcakes after school. There was not a lot of fresh in my home.” Today Mojo enjoys local, whole foods and is passionate about eliminating the country’s food deserts. “There are parts of the country, and parts of the world, where it is difficult to have access to fresh food. By preserving the cold chain with the FreshPorter™, FreshRealm is transforming the food industry to make fresh food accessible and affordable to everyone.” Since her early career days, Mojo has had an eye for reinventing classic models to meet modern demands. Originally from Chicago, she headed west and began her 20-year marketing career at CBS Corporation before moving on to the Seattle Mariners — the first baseball team to have a website. “I worked in baseball at a time when it was looking to redefine itself for modern fans. With a benchmark event marketing and facility usage model, we helped downtown Seattle become quite literally a whole new ballpark.” Mojo earned an executive MBA from the University of Washington while lending her talents to Microsoft in the early days of digital, leading experiential marketing campaigns for products including Xbox and Surface. Following a gravitational pull to California and rebranding campaigns and leadership at Demand Media and Farmers Insurance, Mojo founded the female entrepreneur collective Paper Dolls as a platform to provide growth and networking opportunities to women in business. At FreshRealm, Mojo applies her deep understanding of trends in consumer movements to helping retailers satisfy a changing food market. “For years, aisle upon aisle of shelf-stable packages have dominated the landscape and our choices; now consumers want something different. There’s a fresh food revolution underway, and it’s important to me to be part of the solution.” When not playing a part in overhauling the food industry, Mojo works on restoring a classic Airstream trailer at her home in Ventura, California, with her husband and two sons.
ALAN WEST, CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER, is dedicated to utilizing artificial intelligence to streamline processes. An interest he first developed while earning degrees in mechanical engineering and computer science from California State University, it’s also what drew him to the role of overseeing data, IT, and software engineering for FreshRealm. “I love that it’s a growing company founded on web-based processes with an innovative idea to bring fresh food to more homes.” No stranger to startups, West began his career at HyperDisk Marketing producing software applications for major travel and leisure clients such as Marriott Hotels. Later he became the most awarded employee at Haas Automation as a senior manager of research and development and quality assurance for the company’s high-end, robotic mills and lathes. West has now turned his attention to streamlining family meals — and he takes his work home with him. A single dad of a teenage daughter and almost-teenage son, he understands well the pressure of feeding an active family. “When you’re cooking for kids, even if you manage to get something on the table, they might say, ‘Blech! What did you make?’ The first time I ordered FreshRealm, my daughter, who is extremely finicky, was very skeptical — but then gave it rave reviews. She actually said, ‘I really like this’!” West lives in Santa Rosa Valley, California, where he enjoys swimming, surfing, golf, tennis, basketball — and on a good day, cooking.
Empowering Businesses to Revolutionize the Fresh Food Experience
FreshRealm is on a mission to democratize fresh food. We’re committed to providing the platform that enables our partners to deliver quality, customized meals at scale, with minimal investment. We believe everyone everywhere deserves access to the benefits and pleasures of fresh food.
Appreciative of Our Partners, Employees,
Customers, and the Planet
At FreshRealm, we’re creating a world where everyone can enjoy fresh, healthy food. Naturally, we feel it's just as important to champion and nurture the amazing people who help us realize this vision.
Interested in playing a part in furthering our mission? Contact us to start a conversation about partnership opportunities. Or visit our Careers page for more information on joining our team.
what makes freshrealm different?FreshRealm is the only service that provides retailers and food-related businesses a platform for bringing their own line of fresh prepped meal kits to market nationwide. Here’s how we do it:
Like a painter's palette for fresh ingredients, our Master SKU set codes consists of over 400 items and includes commonly used ingredients, cuts, and measurements, which can be combined to create more than 10,000 unique recipes, ready to be ordered, sourced, and fulfilled immediately.
Ecommerce customers receive their orders in our patented FreshPorter™, in which our proprietary algorithm determines the perfect placement of each ingredient based on its size and temperature sensitivity. We even calculate the precise amount and placement of ice to ensure optimal food quality and safety. Constructed from durable, recyclable materials, the FreshPorter™ is returned the next day via our shipping partners for reuse, reducing environmental impact.
Technology solves the problem of food waste. With cloud-based connectivity between you and our national network of suppliers, orders are received, sourced, portioned, packed, and shipped out all on the same day. No preservatives are needed, because no food sits in inventory.
Partners rely on our deep food-industry expertise. Evidence-based research and reporting drive everything we do.