Sargento Foods is an American food producer best known for its cheese. It was established in 1953 in Plymouth, Wisconsin by Leonard Gentine and Joseph Sartori. The company name is a combination of Sartori and Gentine, with an “o” added to make the name sound Italian, as the company specialized in Italian-style cheeses. Sargento is one of the largest privately held companies in the United States, and is one of the country’s largest retail cheese companies. The company offers profit sharing, tuition reimbursement and benefits for its employees.
Sargento was the first company to sell packaged shredded cheese, and the first to develop zippered packaging for its cheeses. The company also produces and markets specialty cheeses, which it purveys on its website and in catalogs. Additional products include sauces, snack cheeses and snack foods, and the company also manufactures custom cheese and food products for corporate clients.
Sargento Foods Inc. is a family-owned company with two business divisions: Consumer Products and Food Service and Ingredients. The company employs more than 1,800 people at four Wisconsin facilities: Plymouth, Kiel, Hilbert and Elkhart Lake.
The Consumer Products Division is a leading national packager and marketer of natural shredded, sliced, snack and specialty cheeses sold under the Sargento® brand.
The Food Service and Ingredients Division consists of two sales channels of distribution:
The Food Service Channel produces custom cheese products that are tailor-made to the specifications of many national restaurant chains. These products include natural sliced and shredded natural cheeses and breaded appetizers.
The Food Ingredients Channel is known for innovation and leadership in cheese-based products, sauces, frozen extruded products, premium-quality home meal solutions and custom cheese ingredients, delivering value-added products, and formulation and packaging solutions. It has manufacturing capabilities in three facilities in Wisconsin. The plants have a variety of certifications including kosher and USDA meat.
At Sargento Foods, we believe in a concept of ownership that goes beyond our stockholders to include the other important contributors to our success. We include as stakeholders not only our stockholders, but also our employees, customers, community, and suppliers. Although clearly different from that of a stockholder they each have a meaningful stake in our company. Because of this, we recognize the importance of evaluating the impact of our decisions on each of our stakeholders.
Corporate Social Responsibility
As a family-owned company, Sargento is dedicated to improving the communities where we live and work.
We are guided by our commitment to People, Pride & Progress™, which the Sargento family lives every day. People are first at Sargento, and we take pride in understanding what our people need and how we can help them grow. We view our local communities as stakeholders, and we do everything we can to help them make meaningful progress.
Sargento has a strong history of giving our time and talent to organizations that help put meals on the table and build homes for struggling families. We start in our own backyard, focusing on the 1 in 8 Wisconsin residents who face hunger. Over the past 13 years, we’ve donated more than $1.1 million to Wisconsin food charities through our Touchdowns for Charity™ partnership with the Green Bay Packers. As part of a decades-long relationship with Habitat for Humanity, Sargento volunteers have built 26 homes in the Milwaukee area.
Sargento has other long-standing relationships with several non-profits including:
· Habitat for Humanity
· The Hunger Task Force
· St. Ben’s Community Meal
· Touchdowns for Charity
We encourage every member of the Sargento family to get involved in their community. To make this goal a reality, all 1,800 of our employees are given hours away from work to volunteer. Our family is also committed to longtime partner United Way of Sheboygan County, with nearly 80 percent of employees donating a portion of their paycheck to the nonprofit. Sargento is a leader in the county in employee giving, donating $840,000 to United Way in 2015, inclusive of a dollar-for-dollar match from the company.
To protect our communities and reduce our impact on the earth, Sargento makes sustainable choices at our Plymouth headquarters and locations around Wisconsin. At our headquarters, a specialized geothermal system draws water from a pond for heating and cooling. Also in Plymouth, a new piece of equipment helps us effectively recycle cardboard boxes – up to 5 tons of cardboard per day.
These recent improvements reflect a legacy of caring for the environment. Looking back to the 1980s, we formed a “green team” to explore ways to be a better steward of the environment.
We care about animals, and are committed to their ethical treatment. We only work with suppliers and milk providers who share that commitment. Through them, we ensure dairy cows are well-cared for and healthy.
Statement of Values & Purpose
Sargento Foods is a family-owned cheese company dedicated to enhancing long-term stakeholder value. Sustained by an insatiable winning spirit, we are guided by our faith in God. Our central purpose is to be the best at responding to customer and consumer needs for cheese and cheese-based solutions. We will achieve this goal by exceeding expectations for innovation, service, quality, value, taste, and convenience. We share the results of our success with those that contribute to that success.