Gene Gagliardi, President and CEO af Creativators, has spent over fifty years in the food industry.
Gagliardi started his career at the age of six working in the family meat business, Gagliardi Brothers formerly of Philadelphia and West Chester, PA. During the 1950' s Gagliardi Brothers
experienced tremendous growth as the forerunner of the portion control product line, developing products for industry leaders such as McDonalds, Burger King, Burger Chef, Gino's and Pizza Hut. It was there that Gagliardi gained national recognition in 1969 for the invention of Steak-umm.
In addition to product development, Gagliardi pioneered much of the equipment design that is still used today to manufacture Steak-umm and other meat products. Steak-umm's tremendous success catapulted company sales from $10 million in 1969 to $63 million in 1980.
Steak-umm is still the nation's leading thinly sliced steak sandwich -- the essence of the Philadelphia cheese-steak.
In 1980 Gagliardi Brothers was sold to the Ore-Ida Division of H. J. Heinz, and in 1987 upon expiration of his non-compete
contract, Gagliardi founded Designer Foods, formerly headquartered in Chadds Ford, PA. As CEO of Designer Foods, Gagliardi created another national sensation, Popcorn Chicken , which was licensed exclusively by Kentucky Fried Chicken and introduced as a promotional menu item in 1992. Popcorn Chicken quickly became the fast food giant's most successful "in and out" promotion in their fifty two year history.
Company sales grew to $28 million in 1993, the year Gagliardi left Designer Foods to found the company, Visionary Design. Headquartered on his 570 acre farm in Atglen, Chester County, PA,
Visionary Design was started to perpetuate Gagliardi's creativity and innovation in the development of unique food products. In less than one year, Gagliardi's creation, Popcorn Fish, had been developed and licensed by Iceland Seafood Corporation.
While working as consultant for the N.C.B.A.s R & D Ranch, located on his farm in Atglen, PA , Gene Gagliardi designed the Beef Value Cuts.
Among them are the Petite Tenders, Ranch Steak and the Flat Iron Steak, which, together with the R & D team of Tony Mata, Ken Johnson and Joe Di Pippo, and under the leadership of Mark Thomas and Carl Blackwell, were introduced to Chris Calkin of the University of Nebraska , during a scheduled beef cutting demo on February 22-23, 2000 .
More recently he developed a meat cut which won the 2008 national Research Chefs Association's Big Beef Innovation Contest. The Texas Hold'Em* is a grillable shortrib which is scored to the bone.
Gagliardi's newest company is Creativators LLC.
*Texas Hold'Em Patent Concept owned by JBS.
--Eugene D. Gagliardi Jr.
"Whatever makes a person creative, makes them creative in everything they do."