Over the course of time Rich Baer built a close working relationship with Patrick Loftus, a sales executive at a large U.S. paper cup supplier. Loftus went on to work with A&E Plastics, a cutting-edge business in the industry – and one of the first to work with rigid plastics, but Loftus would not forget Baer. Their paths would cross again.
At the time very few packaging companies utilized national account sales teams, instead they relied on food brokers to sell packaging to end users. Loftus observed and appreciated Rich Baer’s ability to build client relationships and believed Baer would be the perfect partners to help break A&E’s revolutionary rigid plastic in Midwest markets.
In fact, Loftus was so confident in Baer he took a significant, yet calculated, risk: He told his boss he wanted to replace all of their existing food broker sales channels with what had now become Baer & Sons.
Management at A&E agreed, and Baer delivered far beyond expectations – business for A&E was booming. Baer & Sons was also thriving, so much so that Rich Baer decided to take a gamble of his own: He asked Loftus to come work at what would now be called Baer & Associates. The offer appealed to Loftus’ entrepreneurial spirit and he accepted.
Together, Baer and Loftus worked markets throughout the country, expanding services within an industry niche, that had been around since the early years of Baer and Associates – movie theater concessions. After eighteen months of working together, Rich Baer offered Loftus the chance to share the business, offering a 50/50 split. The two men became business partners and also good friends – with mutual respect for each other’s strengths. Together they forged a belief that the best way to grow their business was through exceptional client service.
By the early 1990s, the company had added additional salesmen with a shared belief in providing exceptional client service and the highest quality packaging solutions. Baer & Associates’ work in the theatre industry continued thrive – and had added grocery, fast food and convenience store clients to the mix.
In 2008, Baer & Associates founder Rich Baer unexpectedly passed– the loss was difficult as Baer & Associates mourned the loss of not only their founder – but also a great friend and colleague. The company decided the best way to honor Rich Baer was to continue to grow the business in a manner he would have approved of: By continuing to go above and beyond client expectations, finding solutions to their most difficult packaging challenges – and providing exceptional client service.
As Baer & Associates continued to grow, they sought out companies who were eager to create new products without being hindered by the cost of a full-time national sales force. Based on the company’s reputation, many of these companies now sought out Baer – and many found a perfect fit with Baer, a business now known not only for innovation and service, but also for having deep relationships with suppliers and regularly being involved in every aspect of their clients’ supply chains.