July 1998

Robert E. Rich

by Stephanie TABER


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Whether you’re 18 or 85, the need to learn continuously and be constantly challenged are essential parts of everyday life. This concept is not lost on Robert E. Rich, founder and chairman of Buffalo-based Rich Products Corporation, the nation’s largest family-owned frozen food manufacturer.

In fact these distinctions helped Mr. Rich grow his business into a company with more than $1 billion in annual sales. He believes dedication to personal growth and a hunger for knowledge are key ingredients in developing both as a person and as a business professional.

Celebrating his 85th Birthday on July 7th, Mr. Rich also believes in living a lifestyle that promotes creativity and innovation, which have been keys to success in his business since Rich’s Whip Topping was introduced in 1945. It has been innovations such as these that have become hallmarks of Rich’s, establishing the company as a frozen food industry innovator. And at 85 years young, there’s no sign of Bob Rich, Sr. slowing down.

Information on Internet is key to remaining competitive

According to Mr. Rich, innovation and new idea development depend on exercising the brain. And to keep competitive, innovation must be kept alive. So Mr. Rich is always looking to find the latest, up-to-date information to give him the advantage he and his company need. Where does he go for such updates? To the Internet, of course!

While the Internet is not usually equated with a place where senior citizens might gather, Mr. Rich uses the Internet as a valuable tool for discovering new ideas, learning what the competition is doing and keeping up with worldwide trends. He is a daily “surfer” who encourages its use throughout Rich’s, where at World Headquarters in Buffalo, a training seminar recently was developed to encourage Associates to think creatively and teach them to challenge their minds. Rich’s has developed their own website as well at www.richs.com.

Exercise is important to staying ‘fresh’

Exercising the brain is only one way Mr. Rich keeps young and active. He also spends time golfing at Rich Products owned Palm Beach National Golf Course in Florida. The private members-only course is open to all Western New York golfers traveling in the Palm Beach area. Contact Kerry Finn at 1-561-965-0044 for information.

Mr. Rich realizes the importance of physical health for Rich’s Associates, and in 1990 cut the ribbon on the Wellness Center, an on-site health club that includes a variety of cardiovascular and strength training equipment.

With Bob Rich, Sr. as a role model, Rich’s Associates have been inspired to follow his lead to a long, healthy productive life. This is why every birthday Mr. Rich celebrates is proof for all Associates that there really are secrets to finding the “fountain of youth.”


Stephanie Taber is a freelance writer.


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