Growing an ever-evolving business for 25 years COUNTRY MALT GROUP I n 1995, Bryan Bechard and his father, Claude, opened his malt supply business in a lawn mower shed behind his parent’s house with six bags of grain and no customers. Today Country Malt Group supplies an extensive portfolio of malt, hops, and other brewing supplies to hundreds of breweries and distilleries throughout North America. by Anita Flowers

“We started with six bags of malt and no customers.”

Back in August, Spotlight on Business sat down with Bryan Bechard, President of United Malt Group’s global Warehouse & Distribution business to talk about his growing, ever-evolving business and the 25th year anniversary of Country Malt Group. “I originally started the business with my dad. He retired from his job in 1995. I was pretty new out of college and had always had an interest in owning my own business. I just didn’t know what it was going to be. My brother was a home- brewer and well established in his career and the craft brewing scene was starting to emerge. He suggested that there might be an opportunity to supply malt to home brewers and such,” said Bechard. Bechard started the business out of a lawn mower shed in his dad’s backyard. “We started with six bags of malt and no customers. Those were lean years, but I look back on them fondly as the customer driven focus we continue to have in our business was established back then. The customer leads in your decision making. You adapt your value proposition and your portfolio around the needs of your customers. Country Malt Group began in September of 1995. “I recall going to the county clerk’s office and filing the paperwork to get started. It was North Country Malt Supply to begin. It evolved

“The values of our business aren’t just words on a piece of paper. Safety, passion, quality, integrity. They are at the center of how we operate as a business.”

into Country Malt Group (CMG) after we opened our Chicago facility in 2006. That was called Mid Country Malt.” The decision was made to roll all facilities under a consistent portfolio and in 2007, the brand become Country Malt Group. Bechard, a husband and father of two, lives in upstate New York not far from where the original Country Malt facility was founded. CMG is now part of the United Malt Group, a network of companies spanning North America, the UK and Australia. United Malt Group (UMG) has multiple malting assets with brands and distribution businesses around the globe. UMG includes Great Western Malting and Canada Malting, Bairds Malt and Brewers Select in the UK, Barrett Burston Malting in Australia, and Cryer Malt in Australia and New Zealand. “The values of our business aren’t just words on a piece of paper. Safety, passion, quality, integrity. They are at the center of how we operate as a business.” We’re going to find a way to do it safely or not do it at all. We’re not interested in doing something that could jeopardize the health and well-be- ing of our people, or visitors to our sites.” “If you don’t have any passion in what you do, or belief in what you’re doing, you should find some - thing else to do. We’re very passionate about what we do, about our customers, about our people. We know that customers have a choice. They don’t have to buy from us. We want them to see us as the best value choice every single time. They develop loyalty to our brand, to our service, and it becomes a mutually beneficial relationship, which is what we’re striving for.”





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