Produce Processing 7: Q+A with Scott Jensen
Scott Jensen is co-founder and CEO of Rhythm Superfoods, manufacturer of organic and all-natural vegetable-based superfoods snacks. He is the former president and CEO of One World Foods (Stubb’s Bar-B-Q), which he co-founded over 20 years ago with C.B. Stubblefield and two close friends. He continues to help Stubb’s on its board of directors, and led Stubb’s in its national and international expansion to be the largest super-premium Bar-B-Q and marinade brand in the country. He also co-founded, and sits on the board of, Stubb’s Austin Restaurant Co., a barbecue and live music venue in Austin, Texas. Jensen is a member of the Austin chapter of Young Presidents’ Organization, and the head of the Specialty Food Executive Forum. He graduated with bachelor’s degrees in psychology and business communication from Southern Methodist University and an MBA from New York University (NYU).
Before co-founding Stubb’s, Jensen was a marketing manager at James River Corp. Prior to NYU, he spent two years at the Bloom Agency in Dallas working on several national advertising campaigns for major food companies. Jensen and his wife, Cyndie, spend most of their free time chasing their young son around their house in Austin.
What are the best words of advice you’ve ever received?
Trust but verify. A former chairman of my previous company always touted this phrase as the first rule of business. It’s very helpful.
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
Improve the quality of every product we make while dropping the consumer retail price at the same time. There is lots of work to do to achieve that. It comes from hundreds of small improvements.
What do you do to relax?
Spend time with my family. I love them. We like the beach a lot and we have nonstop flights from Austin to Cancun now, so I expect I’ll be getting more requests for Mexican beach trips.
What would you like to be your lasting legacy?
My children to be kind, intelligent, work hard and create value for their community.
What are the top three things on your bucket/to-do list?
- Big culinary vacation to Italy and France and Spain. I co-founded Stubb’s Bar-B-Q Restaurant in Austin and have always been in love with restaurant kitchens and chefs.
- Long sailing trip with my family. A friend did a trip like that three years ago and it reassured me that my earlier wanderlust for a family sailing trip was going to have to happen.
- The Great (wildlife) Migration in Africa. I want to see that. Another friend just took a trip to witness it and got me really excited about Africa.
What job or work would you have pursued if you had not been in the produce processing industry?
Chef. I have a lot of respect for the people in the kitchen. I love this new dynamic where the kitchen is finally getting the respect it deserves. Chefs and cooks are really heroes in my book.
What is the one truth you’ve learned about the produce processing industry?
Produce is an industry of, “If it can go wrong, it will once or twice!” Plan Bs and Cs are a must.