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Marco Lepe of Lepe’s Foods wins Latino Business Leadership Award

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Marco Lepe

President

Lepe’s Foods

3659 Standish Avenue, Santa Rosa 95407

707-585-6388

www.lepesfoods.com

Age: 54

Residence: Santa Rosa

Professional background: Lepe Foods -- driving trucks, sales and administration

Education: Santa Rosa Junior College

Staff: 12

Tell us your story and that of your organization:

“Lepe’s foods began with my parents raising animals at their farm in Sebastopol. We raised all kinds of animals, and would butcher them and provide the meat for restaurants in the Bay Area.

We eventually stopped raising livestock because we were not competitive with Australian and New Zealand exports and the local slaughterhouse was closing.

But we started selling other products to restaurants, mostly in Sonoma County. They began asking if we could get this or that product, so we starting adding more and more products.

We had to leave the ranch in 1996 and found a warehouse. We have been growing each year, adding products, spices, canned goods… and selling to the public as well as restaurants.”

Is there a major accomplishment in the past year or so that you would like to share?

“Couple of years ago I talked with PG&E and a company called Energywise about conservation. We were able to reduce our electric bill significantly and brought out cost downs.

Now I am featured me on television commercial done by PG&E about our savings. I get texts from people every day about it. Someone saw it in Bakersfield and all the way up in Fortuna.”

What is the achievement you are most proud of?

“That I am able to continue to stay in business and make our family proud. We are successful and my wife and daughters work alongside me.”

What is your biggest challenge today?

“Competition. To stay ahead of the competition and to provide service to our customers.”

Words that best describe you:

“Friendly (I will say Hi to anyone), outgoing and confident.”

As a successful professional, what were the biggest obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them?

“Cash flow as the business was getting going. You work with the banks so you can pay people and vendors.”

Who was your most important mentor?

“My Dad, Manuel…He started the company and showed me hard work and perseverance can lead to a good life… He loves his family just like I love my family.”

Tell us about your community involvement:

“Donations to schools and organizations --we provide to when we can. I also volunteer at the local high school.”

What advice would you give to young people today?”

“Study very hard and take business classes so they can understand financials. That is key.”

Quick Takes

Most admired businessperson outside your organization: Steve Soldis. He started a traffic school on line

Most want to meet: Pele. I always loved seeing him.

Stress relievers: I go to the gym every morning.

Favorite hobbies: Love watching sports and I love watching my kids do sports.

Is there something we didn’t ask that you would like to add?

Probably that much of our success is due to my wife, Kristin. She is my rock.

Marco Lepe

President

Lepe’s Foods

3659 Standish Avenue, Santa Rosa 95407

707-585-6388

www.lepesfoods.com

Age: 54

Residence: Santa Rosa

Professional background: Lepe Foods -- driving trucks, sales and administration

Education: Santa Rosa Junior College

Staff: 12

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