FoodLogiQ Veteran Team Member Shares Insight on Company’s Evolution
Welcome to “In the Spotlight,” our blog series that introduces you to the many different FoodLogiQ team members who play an important role in our company’s success. Today’s spotlight is on Jonathan Barnes, who joined FoodLogiQ in May 2008 as one of three US-based full time employees. After a decade of company growth and more than 50 additional coworkers, Jonathan says FoodLogiQ’s future is brighter than ever.
Q. What are the three things you're most proud of at FoodLogiQ today?
One of the things I’m most proud of at FoodLogiQ is the people. Across the organization we have talented, bright and passionate people who drive our customer success, and our success as a company. Secondly, I think all of us should be incredibly proud of the fact that this year, our two seminal customers, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Whole Foods Market, will have been FoodLogiQ customers for seven years running. That’s a phenomenal accomplishment that speaks to the consistent dedication and passion of the entire FoodLogiQ team. I’ve never been more hopeful and excited for the future of our company.
Q. Give us an overview of your career at FoodLogiQ.
In my early years at FoodLogiQ, I had the opportunity to wear many different hats. Being the budding startup it was, there was always work to be done, whether it was setting up and taking down the booth at an industry trade show, doing an onsite visit with a customer to better understand their needs and pain points, or installing and training workers to use new label printing equipment at a grower/packer/shipper’s packing facility. I learned the art of managing customer expectations during a project’s implementation and rollout and honed my skills triaging and troubleshooting software bugs.
In 2012, I had the unique opportunity to travel to Austin with FoodLogiQ co-founder Andy Kennedy and VP of Customer Success Wesley Ange to meet with the Perishables Team at Whole Foods Market about selecting FoodLogiQ as their development partner in what would become the Responsibly Grown Rating System for fresh produce and floral.
This unique survey of Whole Foods produce suppliers would enable produce items to be evaluated and scored on five dimensions - farm worker welfare, advanced pest management, energy and climate, soil health, ecosystems and biodiversity, water conservation, and waste. Over the next year, I spent countless hours with the Whole Foods team, understanding their vision, unpacking the problems they were trying to solve, and using wireframes and mockups to conceptualize that vision. Years earlier, when I worked with Seneca Foods, I had dabbled in user interface and user experience design, but with Whole Foods, I took the plunge and loved it. Then, after almost four years as a UX/UI designer, I took on the role of Product Owner in 2018.
Q. What are three major company changes you've witnessed or been a part of over the years?
When I began working at FoodLogiQ, our greatest success was the Canadian Livestock Tracking System, which tracked every head of cattle in Canada. As part of the Canadian government’s response to the Mad Cow Disease outbreak in 2003, the livestock traceability system marked FoodLogiQ’s first foray into tracking the entire lifecycle of a food product through the supply chain. Fast forward to 2015, when FoodLogiQ launched the Connect platform to address the food industry’s need for better supplier management tools and traceability, building on almost a decade of experience with retail grocery, CPG and QSR companies. In 2019, some of the most well-known QSR brands and food companies in the world use FoodLogiQ’s Connect platform, and with the addition of CEO Sean O’Leary to lead our company, the future is bright for FoodLogiQ.
Q. When you’re not working, how do you recreate?
Last summer, I had the privilege of touring in England with the Duke University Evensong Singers, where we served as choir in residence at Westminster Abbey and Gloucester Cathedral. The experience of sacred choral music -- for both the singer and the audience -- is one of beauty and awe that has this uncanny ability to transcend our day-to-day concerns.
In addition to singing, I enjoy working on home improvement projects and gardening. My partner and I have two miniature poodles named Baxter and Grayson.
Q. Jonathan, what is your personal “why” for doing what you do at FoodLogiQ?
FoodLogiQ offers a unique opportunity for its people to make a direct impact on the safety of our food supply and the health of our communities. Because we spend more of our lives working than we spend with family and friends (or even sleeping), it’s important to me that my work be fulfilling. At FoodLogiQ, I can be a part of that positive impact, and I get to work with a fantastic team of professionals who are passionate about what they do.