Richard Thompson joined Honey Stinger in early 2022 as interim CEO, and it wasn’t long before the businessman took a more permanent interest and took on a more permanent role in the company. performance snacks made from honey and sports nutrition.
“After looking around and seeing what was going on, I decided Honey Stinger was the opportunity I was looking for,” said Thompson, who took on the permanent role of CEO in January. “Over the past five months, I’ve put my spin on everything.”
This includes the addition of a basketball court right in the middle of the company’s headquarters, as well as several other features, including workout rooms where employees can peloton, lift weights, and take a fitness class. yoga.
Thompson, who founded Factory LLC in 2018 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with partners Tim Pollack and Keith Caldwell, said Honey Stinger’s story, people and promise immediately impressed him. More importantly, he wanted to be part of the company’s rise to the next level.
” We will have fun. We are going to do sports. We’re going to bring people here and we’re going to show them what sports nutrition is,” Thompson said. “I don’t care who you are. If you have a passion – be it fishing, golf, running, hiking, biking, skiing or swimming – whatever it is, we want to be able to cater to all of those people.
Earlier this week, Honey Stinger invited partners and the community inside its corporate headquarters at 3495 Airport Circle, adjacent to the Steamboat Springs airport runways, as the company launched its first-ever brand campaign. , You Don’t Have To Be A Pro. .
It was also an opportunity to introduce the new CEO to the community.
“People like you and me, we now have full permission to use Honey Stinger. We don’t have to be an Olympic champion, or the World Cup guy, or someone who wins all the races,” Thompson said. “Everyone has a mission in life. It could be walk a mile, run a mile, but whatever it is, we want to tell people that we have products for help them prepare, perform and recover.
Thompson couldn’t be at the event, but he joined the ceremony via Zoom alongside Honey Stinger athletes such as Los Angeles Clippers star Robert Covington. and Robert Paylora former college rugby player who was crippled during the 2017 National College Rugby Championship.
He shared his inspiring story of walking on stage in 2021 to accept his degree from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley during the school’s first live graduation ceremony since the start of the pandemic.
The launch party also included a live appearance from fellow Honey Stinger athlete Taylor Fletcher. Fletcher is a four-time Olympian and local Nordic combined icon who retired at the end of the season. Fletcher addressed the crowd and answered questions from the audience.
It was also the first chance for Thompson, who still lives in Pennsylvania, to interact with the Steamboat Springs community.
Thompson said he was looking for a home in Steamboat, but hadn’t found the right place yet.
“I’ve made an offer on several properties, but you know, if you don’t make the offer the day or the week it goes on the market, it’s sold,” Thompson said. “So I became very good friends with the folks at the Marriott Residence Inn.”
Thompson currently splits her time between Colorado and Pennsylvania, leading this one-of-a-kind investment firm that, in addition to capital, provides strategic advice to food, beverage and pet entrepreneurs. in areas such as Marketing, Supply Chain, New Product Development and Sales.
“Factory is an innovation hub and scaling hub where we invest in small businesses under $20M…then we take our talent and resources and help them grow faster “Thompson said.
In October 2018, Honey Stinger and Factory announced the new partnership which led to the hiring of Mike Keown, who stepped in as CEO before announcing his retirement.
He said he is a farm boy from Kansas who spent two years in college before starting a career in business construction. Some of his successful ventures include the American Italian Pasta Company, which was the largest pasta producer in North America, along with Meow Mix and Freshpet. Thompson led these three emerging companies to exits valued at $3 billion.
Thompson is founder and managing partner of Factory, which manages the Honey Stinger brand as well as other upcoming brands. like Mikey’s, Stuffed Puffs, Pipcorn, ROAR, Partake and Sampler.
One thing that was clear is that Thompson is thrilled to be in Steamboat and excited to know where Honey Stinger is headed.
The company announced that it had added new products, including nut and seed bars and mini waffles, as well as a new line of moisturizing blends. There are also new flavors such as Cookie & Cream Waffles, and Stingerita Lime Mango Melon Chews, as well as new varieties and sample packs.
Places offering Honey Stinger products have also grown with distribution at Walmart, Target and Kroger.
The company is also growing its hive, which includes a range of supporters from elite athletes to lesser-known individuals. Thompson said the Hive currently has 300,000 members and is growing.
“The products were still in bike shops, and REI, and sporting goods stores, and what we’re doing now is bringing them to retail customers,” Thompson said. “It’s like the best kept secret is Honey Stinger, and we’re going to share it with the rest of America.”
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.