of meat we have processed and sold (550
million pounds in 2003 alone) is a true
indicator of our success,” Charlie says.
Sue McConnaha founded Costco’s
bakery department in 1987. A self-proclaimed
“scratch not technical” baker, Sue instituted
hands-on training, coordinated production
methods to improve consistency and developed new items. Today she oversees 305
bakeries that create delectable goodies
fresh each day. With assistance from Tom
Fox and Jean-Yves Mocquet, “we’re always
looking around the next curve,” she says.
But members also love the tried and true.
What’s a special occasion without a Costco
cake? This year Costco bakeries will make
more than 165 million servings of cake.
Before David Andrew joined Costco
in 1998, the company’s warehouses were
already known as a source of wine values.
But through his broadened selection of fine
and rare wines at excellent prices, Costco
has earned national recognition for its wine
program. Sales have increased 400 percent,
and Costco is now the biggest wine retailer
in the country.
To accomplish this, David travels
the world, tasting 5,000 wines per year
and searching for the right wines at the
right prices. A candidate for the Master
of Wine—a position held by fewer than
20 people in the U.S.—David says his
philosophy is, “The world’s finest wines
are available at Costco.”
Jeff Lyons is known within Costco for
the “salmon story.” As he explains, “Five
times we upgraded the product by improving
the trim and removing the pin bones, among
other things. And with volume purchasing
we lowered the price each time! It’s a classic example of Costco’s dedication to value
and commitment to our members.”
Jeff has also been involved in similar quality improvements of poultry products and in
translating some of Costco’s most popular
Fresh Food items, such as Atlantic salmon
fillets and chicken breasts into Kirkland
Signature brand frozen products.
Frank Padilla is the ultimate greengrocer,
a former produce wholesaler with extensive
merchandising experience. Frank and his team
coordinate with more than 400 suppliers to
assure that produce meets Costco’s exacting
standards. Unique packaging suitable for
businesses or for home use protects fragile
fruits and vegetables in transit. More speciality products have been added such as
romaine hearts, portobello mushrooms and
mangoes, many of which are now available
You’ll find recipes and tips from these
experts throughout Cooking the Costco Way.
Global wine director
manager of Fresh Foods/