AUGUST 19th, 2022 MARKS 25 YEARS AT ATHENA FARMS FOR ROBERT POOLE

2022 marks 25 years of business for Athena Farms, having served the foodservice needs of Atlanta’s premier restaurants, caterers, hotels and country clubs since 1997.

However, it is not the only silver anniversary to recognize. Account Manager Robert Poole will enjoy his 25thAthena Farms anniversary on August 19th.

Robert has enjoyed a fruitful career at Athena Farms and has been a key contributor since his first day on the job.

“Robert Poole strives to be a better version of himself each day. Throughout the years, he has made enormous contributions to Athena Farms, which have resulted in our continued success.  We are truly grateful for his 25 years of service and dedication,” says CEO Richard Levine.

Robert has played multiple roles throughout his time at the company before joining the sales team.

“No,” Robert said with a smile, when asked if he expected this job to turn into a 25-year career.

One of the most significant changes since Robert started? Automation. His time at Athena Farms began before Levine invested in the modern computer systems, automated processes for order tracking, and critical infrastructure.

“We used to have to touch every order, which was a time consuming, manual process. The investment helped us spend more time establishing good relationships with local chefs.”

Establishing these relationships started with super customer service, which has always been a priority.

“My experience is that people buy from who they like and who they trust. One of the secrets to our company’s success is that we are in the business of helping chefs, restauranteurs and foodservice operators be successful.”

He focuses on doing the little things right to build strong relationships in the market, like responding to a 10:30 p.m. customer text message regarding a morning delivery.

Robert also acknowledges the Athena Farms commitment to consistency goes a long way with chefs.

“This business isn’t about what you can do for me today; it is about what you can do for me day in, and day out. We are here to walk alongside our customers and provide them with the systems to be successful. They really appreciate our reliability.”

According to Robert, this reliability starts with the purchasing department and consistent sourcing of high-quality ingredients.

“We have the flexibility to source our products from all types of local, regional and national growers and suppliers to ensure our customers get the products they need.”

The Athena Farms of today looks much different than when Robert began in 1997.

“I’ve seen more than a 1,400% increase from my first weekly sales quota to my weekly book of business today. That is a testament to Richard’s investments and vision as well as our entire team’s effort to be better every day. Success doesn’t just happen.”

Through it all, Robert attributes a genuine care to his customer’s success as the thing that has made all the difference.

“In a world where everything is getting more automated and more impersonal, we truly care about our customers and their success. It’s all about the people.”

“It’s been a fun ride for me. I wake up every day with the mindset of, ‘Hey, who can I go out and help today’”.