5th Generation family owned & operated
Fromm Family Foods is a fifth-generation family-owned-and-operated pet food company based in Wisconsin. Since 1904, our family has maintained a tradition of quiet innovation dedicated to the health and nutrition of animals. In the 1930s, we developed the first canine distemper vaccine. By 1949, we had introduced the concept of premium pet food to the world by pioneering the process of cooking meat and grain together to create the dry kibble food that is so popular today.
Though our company was founded at the turn of the 20th century, the Fromm and Nieman families have been related by marriage and business since the mid-1800s. Tom, Kathy, Bryan, and Dan Nieman proudly represent the fourth and fifth generations of a business born in Wisconsin in 1904.
At Fromm, business is a family affair. We invite you to learn a little more about our family.
As a family-owned-and-operated company, Fromm Family Foods focuses on doing what’s best for our customers, our employees, and our business. Our family works closely with senior management and all employees to assure our family values are integrated into our day-to-day business.
At Fromm Family Foods, we take a long-term approach to our business. While some companies focus on one, two, or three year plans, our strategic timeframes are generational. This long-term planning means our customers and their four-legged family members can rely on superior products made by a family that they know and trust.
4th Generation Family Member
Our company was started by my great grandfather John Nieman and my grandmother’s brothers, Walter, Edward, John and Henry Fromm in the early 1900’s. I am proud to be the fourth generation leader of Fromm Family Foods and I have a strong appreciation for the efforts of my parents, my grandparents, my great grandparents and my great uncles.
Growing Up & Moving Forward
Growing up in Mequon, I worked on the family farms and at our family pet food plant. In those days, Mequon was an agricultural community whose principle businesses were fur and dairy farming. After receiving a degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin I spent three years as a process development engineer at 3M in St Paul. I returned to the business in 1984 at which time I decided to make feline and canine nutrition the primary focus of the company. In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, I launched the Fromm Gold and Four-Star lines of foods for dogs and cats.
I am honored to work alongside my wife Kathy, sons Bryan & Dan, my mother Betty and extended family members. My wife Kathy’s work in the company and her unwavering commitment to our family has been incredible and I truly appreciate her steadfast support. I am also proud to have my sons, the fifth generation of the Fromm Family business, actively involved. It’s my hope one day they too will have the opportunity to lead our family business. However, the Fromm family extends well past relatives at this point. We are blessed to have an amazing staff that has been with us for years, even decades.
As my wife Kathy is only too well aware, I have always been full of ideas and when I dream, I tend to dream bigger than could possibly be accomplished on my own. Pursuing dreams that are bigger than yourself require that you engage people from all walks of life, talents, and skill sets. I have been blessed to have the help of others who share my vision. With the help of my family, our talented management team, dedicated employees, and a team of outside professionals, I have been able to pursue my dreams and build a substantial business that today supports many families here in Wisconsin, as well as other parts of this great country.
My sons and I share a passion for creating high quality microbrew beers. Being active in a local homebrew club and giving startup assistance and third party business perspective to a local brew pub, has provided a fun outlet to share engineering and business knowledge with fellow beer enthusiasts. It has often been said that Fromm is like a micro brewer of super-premium gourmet pet foods where very special attention is paid to the ingredients, formulations, and preparation of our recipes. The same can be said for craft brewing. It’s a hobby that brings family and friends together and blends science and the culinary arts.
Importance of Small Business
I believe small business is the backbone of innovation and job creation. As so many successful small business owners know, it takes sacrifice and commitment to “roll the dice” on a business endeavor or expansion. My appreciation and respect for small and family-run business has motivated us to choose suppliers and retailers who share our values and beliefs. To this day we only make our products available at independent pet retailers across North America and the world. There’s a passion and intimacy that comes across with small businesses that best conveys the true grassroots quality of family owned American made products.
My husband Tom and I have managed to share an office for over 30 years now! I handle human resources, payroll, accounts payable and support Tom, Bryan, and Dan as a wife and mom.
Finding a home in Wisconsin
I was born and raised in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. As newlyweds in 1984, Tom and I relocated to Wisconsin with our newborn Bryan to carry on the family business together. It was difficult to move away from all of my family, but I soon found Wisconsin to have the same Midwestern values. I was surprised at how quickly it felt like home thanks to the warm reception of the community. Luckily, Tom and I still enjoy visiting my parents, siblings, extended family and friends in Minnesota several times a year. Though I have Minnesota in my blood, I now bleed green & gold for the Green Bay Packers. Nonetheless, there’s still a place in my heart for the Vikings!
Benefits of a family owned business
One of the benefits of having a family-owned business is, well, seeing more of your family! I’m so proud to have both my sons involved in the business. If they had jobs outside the company there’s a good chance they would have moved away to further their careers. I enjoy spending time with them at trade shows and other company functions. My husband Tom has spent quite a lot of time building the business into what it is today, and by working in the same office, it has helped me understand why he often can’t make it home for dinner on time.
The best part of the job
My favorite part of the job is the camaraderie we have in our office. Over the years, we’ve built an incredible team of employees that really care about our customers and our products. Working side by side, I see their commitment to our family company on a daily basis.
Outside of work
Working in a family business can be very rewarding, but it can also be all-consuming. I’ve found it’s important to have outside interests as well. One of my passions is dancing. I enjoy both ballroom and country line-dancing, and it’s a great stress reliever! After our sometimes too-long winters here in Wisconsin, I also really look forward to getting into the garden. I grow quite a variety of vegetables as well as lots of flowers. Other things that keep me busy are golf, some travel (usually during those aforementioned cold Wisconsin winters) and practicing my French.
Brand Director &
5th Generation Family Member
As Brand Director, my primary roles include company branding, product development, creative direction, packaging, web development and all things tech-related. In addition to my daily responsibilities, my brother Dan and I have embarked on a complete business immersion program to help us one day take the reins of our family business. Learning every aspect of what makes Fromm run has provided a deeper appreciation for what my father and generations before him have sacrificed to build this brand into what it is today.
The Fromm culture
The culture at Fromm is family-orientated (four legs and two), close-knit and full of hard work, laughter and a true sense of pride. At Fromm, we like to think of our day to day as a blend of work and life. Some of my best friends are my co-workers. My dog Isobel accompanies me to work daily and I share an office with my Grandma Betty who always seems to have a smile on her face and a story to tell.
Inspiration drives us
I am constantly inspired by the testimonials we receive. Our customers appreciate that we’re dedicated to a hands-on approach to preparing the highest quality pet food possible while remaining family owned and family operated. In addition, I am inspired by my forefather’s vision, perseverance and dedication to quality and innovation. My Dad is a living testament to the Nieman/Fromm entrepreneurial spirit, and I’m honored to be learning the family business from him.
I have the unique privilege of bringing my dog Isobel to work with me each and every day. After she bolts up the stairs to our office, she makes the rounds to greet our team members. At home my agile and affectionate cat Kingston rules the roost and keeps Isobel on her toes. Like me, Isobel and Kingston enjoy a little variety in their diet and it’s no surprise they love being trusted taste-testers for new recipes we cook up.
Outside of Fromm
Outside of Fromm, I spend my time biking, playing sports and drumming in my long-time rock band. I am also an avid foodie with a passion for the culinary arts, and I enjoy brewing fine ales and lagers with my family and local homebrew club. Music and film are my lifelong passions which I’ve been immersed in for as long as I can remember. In addition, I have been extremely lucky to travel to some amazing parts of the world. All these activities are best spent in the company of my friends and family.
Asst. Operations Manager &
5th Generation Family Member
I work in operations, specifically dealing with setting the production schedule and managing inventories at every step throughout the process. My skills in analysis and organization are helpful in solving problems on the production floor and making sure everyone is on the same page. I make it my job to ensure that all of the product we make is up to our high standards and that we are able to fill all orders in a timely manner. In addition, I enjoy learning everything there is to know about making pet food from start to finish and I take great pride in how we go about doing it.
What we stand for
I consider myself very lucky to be a part of what the Fromm and Nieman families have built over the last century and counting. The accomplishments the company has achieved since it began in the early 1900s give me a great sense of excitement as well as a great sense of responsibility. We believe that we must continually work to improve our products and processes, and on any given day, you can find my dad, my brother, or me on the production line making sure the product is up to our standards and looking for areas that need improvement. This gives our employees a sense of pride in the unique pet foods that we produce. It’s extremely important that our employees enjoy coming to work each day and they believe in what they do because our dog and cat foods require great attention to detail on every level.
How we stand apart
My dad taught me the importance of doing everything fully and correctly: if you are going to do something, make sure the job is done and that it is done right. We do not take any shortcuts and you will see that when you feed your dog or cat Fromm pet food. I have always found that the best way to sell our product is to feed our product and in reading customer reactions to our pet foods, I find that our faithful customers sell our products as well as anybody.
I have three smaller members of my household: my dog Gracie — a lovable and adorable brindle pit-bull mix who fancies herself a princess — and two cats Kilgore and Trout — a dynamic duo full of rambunctious playfulness. All three of my pets came from rescue organizations and each one has brought such joy into my life. And of course, none of them let me forget when its meal time.
Like my father and brother, I love brewing and drinking craft beers. I also inherited an interest in gardening from my mom, and there’s little I enjoy more than brewing beer with homegrown hops or cooking with homegrown herbs and vegetables. I enjoy grilling out nearly every weekend (that includes winter months!). Living in Wisconsin, of course I follow the Green Bay Packers all year long, and I love watching football and college basketball, among other sports.