Wednesday, September 26, 2018
I want my Maypo; I hope I'm not alone in that.
Lance Archibald is a 21st century CEO with all the right credentials: Harvard Business School, of course, via BYU, where he played basketball. He worked at Snapfish and Logoworks before joining his current cutting edge transformative technology company, Homestat Farm, turning abandoned urban industrial spaces into hydroponic gardens growing organic, artisanal produce for ...
Just kidding: Homestat Farms owns Maypo, the 68-year-old hot cereal, which is why I sought him out. I've been shoveling warm, delicious Maypo Instant Maple Oatmeal into my eager maw for over half a century.
Maypo had disappeared from shelves at my local Sunset Foods. Must be a restocking issue, I told myself. The intense, cult-like popularity of classic, comforting Maypo must make it difficult to keep in stock.
But time passed, and nourishing, nostalgic Maypo wasn't returning. I did something completely out-of-character: I asked a manager at Sunset to stock the stuff. "If you carry it, I'll buy it," I promised.
So — mirabile dictu — they did. A dozen boxes appeared on the shelf. I bought one, enjoyed a bowl the way I like it, doctored with wheat germ, bran and a tablespoon of real maple syrup to enhance the maple effect.
But I can only eat so much. The rest of those boxes just sit there, reprimanding me. I feel responsible for Maypo, though I'm really not. Lance Archibald is. How did he get himself into this predicament?
"I bought this business about four and a half years ago from a gentleman in his late 60s, looking to retire," Archibald, 44, told me. "When I looked at this business, I saw a category, the hot cereal category, that is growing, due to health trends, as people get away from cold cereal. I saw this brand, these brands — we also own Wheatena and Maltex — that have a really passionate customers base."
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