Lou Colmeco of Wellshire Farms
Published Dec 30
I started Wellshire Farms in 1996 because I was concerned that my own children were eating way too many meat products that were over-processed and had no health benefits or nutritional value. It occurred to me that to live well, you must eat well!
Our company is homegrown and built on the belief of one true family and partnership, with an unwavering commitment to our farmers, processors, business associates, customers, employees, and community.
Standing on a foundation of integrity, I launched the family-owned operation from the basement of our house in Swedesboro, New Jersey, with an inventory of premium products small enough to count on one hand. While Wellshire Farms has grown to become a nationally recognized name in the meat industry, offering more than 300 all-natural meat products, we have always maintained our core beliefs.
I always remember where we came from, and I tell all our Wellshire employees to remember, too. I come into our headquarters daily and work side-by-side with our nearly two dozen employees. I am committed to continually creating the same type of work environment for employees that I would want to go to everyday. Everyone has a desk by a window, and we all know we’re in it together.
Going green at all times is a priority for me, and we work to reduce our carbon footprint wherever possible. There’s a solar farm at Wellshire headquarters and at my home—part of my personal pledge to do the best I can for my family, my company, my community, and the environment. I lease the land on my farm to grow alfalfa as feed for the milking cows next door. We compost and plant greens around the property, and transplanted more than 60 trees, averaging 15 feet in height, around the property.
Wellshire’s “Feel Great, Eat Well” philosophy is displayed prominently on our building, and a sign inside that reads “You Are Wellshire” serves as a reminder to every one of our team, myself included, that each of us represents this company and is part of a family. The extended Wellshire Family includes a dozen small vendor-partners who share similar philosophies in the processing and packaging aspects, as well as protein partners across the United States and Canada.
Quality has always been a key element in what makes up our corporate character. In a very real sense, every employee at Wellshire has a share in assuring an elevated level of quality in every product. Our internal Quality Assurance Department is specifically entrusted with spotlighting the issue of quality, and supports our Sales Team and Customer Service representatives in conveying this knowledge.
Another top priority for me is the quality of life for the farm animals, and making sure they are raised humanely and are fed a healthful diet. I believe these animals have the right to a joyful life. I see great benefits being brought forth through the Global Animal Partnership and the 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating Standards. The 5-Step Program is great for 100-percent traceability and raising awareness about farm animal welfare.
The farmers who raise the animals for Wellshire Farms on their small, family-owned, sustainable farms adhere to the highest of standards. They subscribe to a land stewardship program that protects the purity of the farmland from pollution and water run-off, and, through the 5-Step program, are being audited by independent third-party agencies to guarantee animal compassion and proper raising practices are adhered to at all times.
We’re grateful for our farmers and proud to prioritize the economic health of their communities around the U.S. When we purchase meat from like-minded farmers, the meat is delivered back to that locality, following processing and packaging, for sale within that region.
Wellshire operates in ways very similar to a “cooperative,” existing for the benefits of its members, as well as supporting other parts of the community through various programs and philanthropic activities. So, I was inspired to create the “Well-Op” concept—Wellshire Opportunities, Wellshire Operations, and Wellshire Outside Philanthropy. I believe in giving back, particularly in our own backyard, and am so excited to be amongst Global Animal Partnership’s pilot partners in further processed products.