"We wanted something unique on our fleet of trucks that coincides with our message of fresh and natural," Ole Tyme president Joan Daleo said.
As Joan Daleo
sat down for an interview, she
recited from memory a client's order -- ticking off what was going to the restaurant, what truck it was on and the number of cases.
That level of detail is necessary to survive in the highly competitive food distribution business where margins of 1 percent are common, said Daleo, who is president of Ole Tyme Produce.
"This isn't a game about money.
This is a lifestyle," said Daleo
, who returned to St. Louis in 1996 to help her father, Joe Daleo, with the company.
said the business is almost as perishable as the fruits and vegetables it delivers.
is among the few women running such a supply business locally.
Key executives: Daleo, 42, is president of a family limited partnership that owns Ole Tyme.
Joan Daleo is the only family member working in the business full time.
Joan Daleo had been working in the mergers and acquisitions unit of PacifiCorp, a West Coast utility, after she graduated from Reed College in Portland, Ore.
was returning to St. Louis for a finance fellowship at Washington University
did not win the fellowship, but took a job with Ole Tyme
pursued an MBA at Washington University
Revenue: Sales were $12 million for 2004.
watches case counts on deliveries as much as dollars, usually pushing to deliver between 12,000 and 15,000 cases a week.
"Restaurants, hotels, hospitals, clubs and caterers demand the freshest produce and specialty products possible, and they need to be able to access and track the availability of their produce when it is convenient for them," said Joan Daleo, president of Ole Tyme Produce.