October 11, 2022

Grote celebrates 50 years in food processing

Grote Company, a manufacturer of food slicing and assembly equipment, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Grote was founded in 1972 by Jim Grote to help bring automation to his first company, Donatos Pizza.

Since then, the company has grown from one small factory to eight locations worldwide, employing more than 300 workers.

“Jim Grote invented an entire category of slice-and-apply in the food processing industry, which makes me wonder what we’ll invent next,” said Bob Grote, chief executive officer, Grote Company. “As we move into the future, based on the strong foundation Jim built along with a reputation for holding our values tight, even as we expand, the possibilities are endless. The market will keep growing – everyone needs to eat – and Grote Company will play a role in that.”

Bob Grote joined the company 22 years ago and became CEO in 2008. His brother Jack Grote joined the business in 2011 and serves as chief operating officer. Now, Bob Grote looks forward to the future with the family’s third generation as his son Jack has joined the company as sales manager for its Vanmark arm.

In the last 20 years, Grote Company has diversified and strengthened its food processing expertise with acquisitions of industry pillars, including PFI, Vanmark, Advanced Food Technology, GME International and Pizzamatic. Its eight locations include an office in the U.K. and a warehouse in the Netherlands.

“Watching how the technology has evolved and how data and robotics have impacted the world of automation – yet realizing there’s still so much that can be done in the future – you recognize what opportunity there is,” Bob Grote said.

The company recently marked the occasion with a celebration involving past and present employees and local dignitaries.

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