Foodservice

Hunt Brothers Pizza Adds Purchasing Director

Snodgrass joins family-run c-store pizza program provider

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Hunt Brothers Pizza, a major distributor of fresh dough pizza to the convenience store market, said that R. Aaron Snodgrass has joined the company as purchasing director, according to Scott Hunt, senior executive.

Snodgrass comes to the company from Wayne Farms of Oakwood, Ga., one of the largest poultry processors in the country, where he served as procurement team leader for the last two years. Prior to that, he served as purchasing manager for three years.

He started his career with Kunzler & Co., Lancaster, [image-nocss] Pa., before joining Precision Industries, one of the integrated suppliers to the Kellogg Co.

Nashville, Tenn.-based Hunt Brothers Pizza offers a comprehensive pizza program to its store customers in 26 states. The product line includes the company's original crust pizza, its thin-crust pizza and a breakfast pizza. All pizzas are delivered weekly and prepared on site to bake and are sold in either whole pizzas or the company's Hunk a Pizza, which is one-quarter of a whole pizza. All come with Hunt Brothers Pizza's signature promise of All Toppings No Extra Charge.

The stores do not pay franchise fees or royalty fees, and all marketing materials are provided free of charge. This comprehensive, value-added package offers c-store owners and chains a low entry cost, high profit food service opportunity, Hunt said.

Meanwhile, The Tennessean recently profiled Hunt Brothers Pizza. When Don Hunt founded the company that would become Hunt Brothers Pizza in the 1960s, he sold pizza supplies to convenience stores and taverns out of the back of a station wagon. The business soon expanded to include his three brothers. Today, their sons and daughters are in charge.

Scott Hunt, 47, said the family business, then called Pepe's Pizza, began to splinter in the early 1970s because his father and uncles disagreed over the direction of the company. We were entrepreneurs, said Don Hunt, 73. We were focused on sales, sales, increasing our sales. We didn't think about building a company."

But in the early 1990s, the Hunt brothers and their separate businesses formed a loose confederation under the name Buffet Pizza. Buffet offered one of the first pizzas with a self-rising crust, and it was sold fresh-baked in c-stores.

One of the company's goals is to limit price increases and charge c-stores the same amount. Don Hunt developed a formula controlling the cost of making a pizza by tracking the price of ingredients and negotiating deals with suppliers. If the price of cheese were to jump, for example, Hunt would try to get a better deal on sauce.

But Buffet Pizza had no IT department to manage distribution points, no marketing department and a name so generic the Hunts could not secure a trademark.

The founding brothers often found themselves at odds with the 30 children active in the business until some of their decisions began to bear fruit. Today, the company is the nations' fourth-largest pizza operation with 6,000 retail locations in 26 states, according to the report.

Hunt Brothers Pizza has hired executives from outside the family, but major business decisions are still made in family meetings known as The Brothers' Council."

When you're an entrepreneur, you have to be a little egotistical. You have to believe you're right about everything, so when you hit the wall, you can keep going, Don Hunt told the newspaper. But when the second generation comes in, they know some things you didn't.

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