We had the good fortune of connecting with Elizabeth Mozer and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Elizabeth, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Work life balance may be an illusion when a family owns two businesses, so the way we deal with it at our house is to make our businesses a part of our lifestyle. For us, this means that all the things that need to be done for the children, house, spouse and businesses are combined and prioritized according to what needs to happen next. This means that personal stuff is sometimes done at work or during normal business hours and some work stuff is done after normal business hours. It also means that while LoCo Food Distribution is my responsibility and The Lyric is my husbands – sometimes we chip in on projects for the other company according to each person’s strengths.

Regarding the work life balance for the members of my team at LoCo Food Distribution, we all recognize that the people we work with do in fact have lives outside of their work and so we are all able to support each other when someone needs to go handle personal matters. We also have an unlimited vacation policy, where we don’t track vacation time taken, but rely on each member to get their work done and coordinate well in advance time off with their teams. This policy was started in 2018 on a trial basis to see if it would work, and we’ve had great success with it. It helps folks understand that they are appreciated and gives them the ownership over their jobs to know when they are able to get away.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
In 2011, I started LoCo Food Distribution in an attempt to bring local food to the mainstream marketplace. At the time, we were trying to source local food for our independent movie theater in downtown Fort Collins and were having trouble finding local products and having them delivered. We found that other wholesale buyers were having similar trouble and vendors and growers were having a hard time finding customers. When CSU did a study finding that the gap in local food utilization was distribution, it became obvious that was the hole in the market I needed to fill.

So I started in my basement with the family minivan delivering Colorado grown and made food to restaurants and grocery stores. Fast forward to 10 years later, and our company works with about 125 Colorado brands, delivering them to chain & independent grocery stores, coffee shops, tap rooms, hotels, hospitals & universities between Cheyenne and Colorado Springs!

We feel that our focus on and support of small, local brands is what sets apart LoCo Food Distribution. We help our customers run consistent Local Programs, while helping our vendors grow into larger and larger customers.

Because distribution is a low margin business, volume is really key, but getting to the sales volume required to become a profitable business takes a lot of time and effort. As any small business founder also understands, funding is incredibly difficult and requires tenacity and creativity. However, we believed all along that Coloradoans value local food and local businesses and they do! Their demand for these products has fueled our growth and the success of LoCo Foods and our vendors.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We’re based in Fort Collins, so I’d certainly take them to The Lyric in Fort Collins, where we’d have lunch, sit on the patio and watch some live music and then get a cocktail from the bar and go watch a movie!

Then, we’d go for a hike in Lory State Park.

One day we’d zip down to Denver and check out the Denver Zoo and grab a lunch at Honey Hill Cafe. We may stay over and go to the Denver Art Museum the next day.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout goes to Team LoCo! These people who I am lucky enough to work with, make the whole darn thing possible. Lead by Sam Novotny and Darrelle Weyant, our team of 17 people includes dedicated drivers, wowing warehouse workers, superior sales team and an astonishing administration team! Seriously though, this team takes care of each other in ways that consistently demonstrate that they see each other as whole people with skills and talents and lives outside work. They work together to improve their work output, each other’s work loads and to constructively build new skills – all the while building the company.

Starting and running a company runs many people ragged, and while I did work many long months and years in the beginning, this team has stepped up in ways I couldn’t have imagined 5 years ago to ensure that the operation runs well every day.

Website: www.LoCoFoodDistribution.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/LOCOFOODS/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LoCoFoods

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LoCoFoodDistribution/

Other: https://www.pinterest.com/locofooddistribution/_created/

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