It’s been two months since celebrity-backed baking mix brand Foodstirs announced that CPG veteran Greg Fleishman would be joining the team as COO and stepping back from a full time role at Purely Righteous Brands, the management consultancy and marketing firm he co-founded with longtime friend Andrew Aussie in 2013.
The move was one with the potential for a dynamic shift at a firm that has, since its founding, been deeply involved with the development of several high-profile food and beverage brands, including SUJA, Temple Turmeric, Epic, REBBL, Bakhti Chai, and even their original employer, Kashi. But even with Fleishman working as the COO at Foodstirs, he will still be involved in client projects, he and Aussie told NOSH during a recent interview.
In fact, Aussie himself is still the COO of supplement company Coromega and president of his own startup, Earnest Eats, a cereal and bar company that is something of a “house brand” at the marketing shop. The pair, who met at Kashi and stayed on in high-level roles after the brand sold to Kellogg before moving on to successful individual careers, say they originally designed the firm to allow for some staff to take on deep roles within some of their client companies, while others work on a more project-oriented basis. Fleishman’s move into a full-time role at Foodstirs developed out of such a project, a year-long restaging of the brand that Purely Righteous oversaw. So even as a full-time COO, Fleishman’s move isn’t necessarily a move away from a full-time role at Purely Righteous, they said — it’s closer to the near-full-time stretch he spent while helping launch SUJA. There, Fleishman was deployed on a variety of key projects while still embedded within that juice company.
“Andrew and I are not your classic ‘nine-to-fivers,’” Fleishman said. “The intense commitment to what we do enables the depth and breadth of our workflow. We have built out the PRB team with super talented folks which allows us to go deep on a few brands personally.”
To that end, as Aussie maintains his own robust schedule, Purely Righteous has also brought on agency veteran Laura Arnold to help with account management. Arnold will pull from her robust background working with larger agencies including Agency.com, Arnold Worldwide and JWT. The pair will also lean heavily on longtime co-worker Julie Sweet, their strategy director.
Aussie says that the bulk of the agency’s work is now project based. This newer model allows Fleishman to scale back his time to focus on Foodstirs, yet still remain involved. With a growing team that can scale up and down as needed, the pair say they are ready to move forward, even with an extra company on their plate.
“I think this comes back to the idea of modulating up and down as opportunities arise,” Aussie said. “So right now [Greg is] modulating up on his Foodstirs involvement but he fully expects that to modulate down in the future. And he’s still involved in every project that I’m working on and touching base.”