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November 26th, 2020 | Around the Office
Even though Thanksgiving may feel different this year, the sentiment of giving thanks for what you have is still important. We at Sovereign Flavors are grateful to be able to serve local and international companies with our flavors. Our hard-working team is always dedicated to ensuring company productivity. To show our appreciation, we host a Thanksgiving potluck every year for our employees, showcasing everyone’s culinary abilities and delicious cultural dishes. Our Plant Manager, Ritchie Bolante, wanted to express his gratitude for his employees during the potluck and decided on making the turkey every year. He wanted to create something that he could do with his coworkers that would be fun and easy to do, so he switched out the traditional turkey for a deep-fried one. As he puts it – “You can’t go wrong with fried meat unless it’s burnt.” For the past four years, Ritchie and some of our employees would go out into our parking lot to fry up a delicious golden bird for all of us to enjoy. For Ritchie, this holiday isn’t just represented by the aromas of pumpkin spice and roasted turkey; it is about the moments he spends with his friends and family. Two distinct flavors embody those irreplaceable memories he has with the ones he loves. One of a smokey, nutty coffee he has as he preps for the day and of a sweet, savory malt scotch he has to toast with his family during his thanksgiving meal.
“The Thanksgiving Day party is a celebration of Camaraderie, to break bread with peers regardless of rank and department.” – Ritchie.
Ritchie got into the flavor industry in 2003 as a Quality Control Chemist for a flavor company that specialized in savory flavors. In 2007 after his first son was born, he needed to work part-time to relieve the stress of working the night shift. Ritchie applied for a part-time position and was hired as employee #4. He worked for a few months helping the QC and Applications laboratories, which shortly continued into a full-time job as the Plant Manager. From the start, Ritchie embraced the “grow where you are planted” attitude turning a part-time position into a tremendous responsibility as our Plant Manager. As the company grew each year, Ritchie took on more responsibilities building an operations team and BRC Certified processes highly regarded by our customers. Even though there has been a significant increase in product demand, Richie has maintained our high quality and fast turnaround times as it was 13 years ago. He loves the mentoring aspect of his job and enjoys working with everyone, especially the operations team.
“I believe that true leadership is measured by the ability to develop future leaders in your team. You earn each other’s trust, you empower them, and you reciprocate gratitude.” – Ritchie.
Ritchie wanted to leave you all with this message:
“Thanksgiving is a time to be extra appreciative for everything. We get so caught up with life that it is easy to forget to take a pause to be thankful for what we have. When you have your Thanksgiving meal with your family this year, just take a moment to look at the people around you, whether virtually or in-person and give thanks.”