Retail/Wholesale: MARTIN KELLY
PRESIDENT AND CEO, SAUER BRANDS INC., RICHMOND
If forced to choose his favorites out of the many condiments, seasonings and spices produced by Sauer Brands, Kelly would go with Duke’s Mayo in a squeeze bottle, Alabama White BBQ Sauce from Duke’s Southern Sauces, Kernel Season’s Garlic Parmesan and Everything Bagel Crunch from The Spice Hunter.
Kelly has had a while to get acquainted with Sauer’s expansive product line, which includes brands like Tasty Shakes, Gold Medal and BAMA. He’s led the Richmond-based food products business since 2019, when Falfurrias Capital Partners, a North Carolina-based private equity firm, purchased the former C.F. Sauer Co., a family business founded in Richmond in 1887. In September 2021, Kelly announced Sauer Brands’ acquisition of Texas-based Mateo’s Gourmet Salsa.
A food and beverage industry veteran, Kelly describes himself as a “driving force that transforms businesses into top performers.” He worked for 12 years at Coca-Cola Co. and bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. before sliding into vice president roles at Borden Dairy and Miller Brewing Co. Later, Kelly moved to the craft beer arena, first as head of Pyramid Breweries and then as president and CEO of then-Vermont-based Magic Hat Brewing Co.