MaryBeth Matzek 30844

Growing up with two Polish grandmothers, every holiday celebration included three meats, one of which was always Polish sausage. Sitting next to the plate of sausage would be a large bowl of sauerkraut. Until a few years ago, that was the extent of my knowledge of fermented cabbage until I learned that GLK Foods, LLC with its plant in Bear Creek is the No. 1 producer of sauerkraut in the world. But sauerkraut isn’t the company’s only specialty. A few years ago, GLK launched Oh Snap!, a line of healthy grab-and-go snacks that’s become a big hit with consumers.

How does a company that prepares sauerkraut in giant vats successfully branch into also producing refrigerated, single-serve, brine-less pickles? According to GLK President Ryan M. Downs, it takes a quality, good-tasting product and persistence. “People refer to them as Oh Snaps! They don’t just say ‘I had a pickle.’ It’s a legit brand,” he says.

With the Oh Snap! line continuing to grow, the company invested in a new manufacturing facility that opened earlier this year and is looking at additional storage space to store cucumbers to make its products. “It’s a good challenge to have,” Downs says. To learn more about GLK, turn to my cover story on page 22.

According to the latest data, more people than ever before are listening to podcasts, and for businesses, they provide a new opportunity to reach customers. A podcast can keep customers engaged for at least 20 minutes, which is a lot longer than the usual YouTube video, says Vallari Chandna, chair of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s marketing and management department. Turn to the Insight Insider on page 28 to learn more about this new opportunity to connect directly with consumers.

If the coronavirus pandemic taught us anything, it’s that having solid, affordable broadband in place is a necessity as employees retreated to their homes to work and students attended virtual school classes. An article by Jessica Thiel in this month’s I-Tech special section on page 2 discusses the importance of broadband and how New North, Inc. is looking to help.

November is always a month to give thanks, and despite everything 2020 has thrown at us, I believe there is still plenty to be grateful for. For me, it was exploring with my family the many parks and uncovered natural gems our region has to offer and daily three-mile walks with my daughter around our neighborhood. I hope when you look back at the past 11 months that you too can find something to be grateful for.

An extra dose of Insight

Listen to Ryan Downs, president of GLK Foods, LLC, discuss how the world’s largest sauerkraut manufacturer added healthy grab-and-go snacks to its product lineup.

Downs’ interview is just one of many you will find online