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|Articles - November 2011|
|Wednesday, October 19, 2011|
Page 1 of 2
By Ben Jacklet
Chris Barhyte keeps a stack of unopened letters in his offices from would-be buyers of the family business. “I don’t even open them any more,” he says. “I’m just not interested in selling. I’d probably have to put on a suit.”
Barhyte is wearing shorts and flip-flops at the Tualatin sales office of Barhyte Specialty Foods, which he has built from a literal mom-and-pop shop into a 52-employee operation generating more than $10 million in annual sales and continuing to expand through the recession. He did so by becoming the boss of his parents, Jan and Suzie Barhyte. The Barhytes had a family recipe for mustard that they trace back to their ancestors in Germany, who first sold it in the U.S. during Revolutionary War times. They formed a company in 1982 selling mustard out of Pendleton. Their eldest son, Chris, a 43-year-old Oregon State University graduate with a degree in hotel and restaurant management, left the corporate world after stints at Disney and Taco Bell/Pepsico and put together a plan for the family business in 1995.
From the beginning the plan was to sell the product out of the Portland area while making it in Pendleton. The arrangement was meant to minimize family stress, to give Suzie creative control of the cooking while leaving her son free to handle marketing. “It keeps us out of each other’s faces,” says Barhyte. “And it keeps me focused on sales here. They don’t want me out there mucking around with production.”
They started small — real small. Production consisted of mom and pop working with a five-gallon Hobart mixer and bottling the mustard by hand. Barhyte’s budget for the first month projected $15,000 in sales; the actual number came in at $6,000. So the 28-year-old CEO loaded up the van and hit the road, pitching mustard up and down the Oregon Coast and around the High Desert, filling orders, driving around ingredients and making deliveries. Two or three times per week he would get up at 6 a.m., drive out to Pendleton and drop off deliveries on the way back home late at night. He had one customer in Hood River who got used to him showing up at 11:30 at night on his way home and leaving the package out back. The business hired its first employee in 1998: Chris’s younger brother, Mike, who runs the factory in Pendleton.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
Oregon's population is booming, and so are rental costs.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY KIM MOORE
A conversation with Chris Maples, president of the Oregon Institute of Technology.
Thursday, September 10, 2015
BY KIM MOORE
Oregon is set to become a hub of a new type of wooden building design as a southern Oregon timber company becomes the first certified manufacturer of a high-tech wood product, known as cross-laminated timber, or CLT.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE AND LINDA BAKER
Child care in Oregon is expensive and hard to find. We delved into the numbers and talked to a few executives and managers about day care costs, accessibility and work-life balance.
Monday, October 05, 2015
VIDEO BY JESSE LARSON
Profiling some of the organizations featured in the 2015 list.
Monday, September 28, 2015
BY BEN DEJARNETTE
Controversial track star Nick Symmonds is leveraging his celebrity to grow a performance chewing-gum brand. Fans hail his marketing ploys as genius. Critics dub them shameless.
Friday, October 02, 2015
BY KIM MOORE
Our intrepid (and expecting) research editor finds the child care search involves long waiting lists, costly fees and no certainty of securing a place before she goes back to work.
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