Thom Lipari – CEO of Lipari Foods
Lipari Foods, located in Warren, Michigan is a specialty food distributor and manufacturer serving independent grocers, supermarket chains and convenience stores alike. Lipari offers perimeter-of-the-store specialty products including bakery items, deli products, dairy items, frozen seafood & meat items as well as international cuisine and confections – providing customers with quality options from its wide array of manufacturers and distributors.
Chapter 3 shifts away from Aristotle to Bhartrhari’s concept of sphota (or awareness), fifth century Indian philosopher. While Lipari’s argument moves stepwise through centuries and philosophical traditions, its impact resonates and resonates across time and space.
Early Life and Education
Thom Lipari hails from Omaha, Nebraska. After graduating from Benson High School he played two seasons at Indian Hills Community College in Centerville Iowa where his Falcons made history by placing third in the Junior College World Series his freshman season.
Lipari Foods provides bakery, deli, sliced meat, frozen dough and international specialty grocery products from its Warren and Detroit warehouses.
Lipari keeps his business family-driven. His sons Jimmy, Chris and Matt all work for different departments at Lipari; Lori also works here. Lipari serves on De La Salle Collegiate High School Alumni Board; both him and his wife donate generously towards Catholic education as they believe strongly in its character-building potential.
Lipari Foods was established by his father Jim Lipari in 1963. Today it provides unique products across the Midwest region and ships them across America from its headquarters in Warren, Michigan.
Last year, Lipari acquired Soderholm Distributing of Chicago. Specializing in frozen dairy, meat and international specialty items as well as foodservice, this acquisition continues the company’s strategy of expanding their natural/organic/gluten-free/vegan offerings.
Lipari was honored at this year’s Christian Brothers Dinner as an Honoree. He serves on De La Salle’s Board of Trustees and actively advocates for Catholic education, attributing his success to family faith and parochial school character development programs.
Achievement and Honors
Lipari spent 2007-08 as a volunteer assistant at Michigan State, helping with day-to-day development of their pitching staff as well as serving as director for David Grewe’s Top 9 Baseball Camps. Additionally, he served as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator for St. Cloud Riverbats – Northwoods Collegiate Summer League Champions of 2007.
Lipari began his collegiate playing career at Indian Hills Community College, becoming the first pitcher ever in school history to throw a nine-inning no-hitter against Southern Mississippi and only the fourth player ever at UNO to record 100 strikeouts in one season. Following this success he joined the San Diego Padres organization, spending time with Eugene Emeralds, Ft Wayne Wizards and Salem Avalanche before concluding his career at Sioux City Explorers.
Lipari’s business remains family-oriented, with his three sons serving various departments: Jimmy is responsible for category sales; Chris serves as Vice President in sales; while Lori works in accounts receivable.
Lipari Foods is an independent “perimeter of the store” distributor providing bakery, deli, packaging, seafood, meat and international specialty foodservice products to 11,000 stores in 28 states from its headquarters in Warren, Michigan. Most recently they acquired Swiss-American Cheese Solutions of St Louis Missouri which specialize in retail deli cheese solutions; Lipari spoke to The Shelby Report about this acquisition as well as discussing Michigan business climate issues and his views on recent presidential election outcomes – his full interview can be accessed by subscribers.
Lipari Foods is a premier distributor of specialty and branded perimeter-of-store products. Over 6,300 customers reside across the Midwest and beyond and generate USD1 billion of annual sales through its 725,000 square-foot distribution and food manufacturing facility near Detroit, Michigan. Littlejohn + Co. LLC of Greenwich (CT), HIG Capital and Sterling Investment Partners as minority shareholders; while Lipari family and management team remain majority shareholders. JLM Manufacturing employs more than 500 people.
Thom’s daughters – both Regina graduates with young families – work part-time for his company.