Today’s Manufacturing Brings a Better Tomorrow with Grote Company

By Tom Rossomando, Manufacturing & Technology Advocate

Recently, members of the Office of Advocacy visited the Grote Company in Columbus, Ohio. Founded in 1972 by Jim Grote, it has been a family-owned and operated small business manufacturer of food processing equipment. Currently, Grote has over 200 employees and, in the last 20 years, has diversified and strengthened its food processing expertise with acquisitions of industry pillars Vanmark, Advanced Food Technology, GME International, and Pizzamatic, making it a prominent manufacturer of slicing and food assembly equipment for companies from small local businesses to global brands. Today, the company is run by Jim’s nephews Bob and Jack Grote, CEO and COO respectively.

Speaking with Bob Grote, he expressed concern about an issue that currently is keeping CEOs up at night: how to legally handle the issue of federal vs. state laws regarding marijuana.

Another concern of Bob’s is the negative stigma manufacturing has on today’s parents. Many parents remember their dads’ manufacturing plant. He explained, “Many parents feel that manufacturing is not sexy,” so they do not look at manufacturing as a long-term career for their children. The truth is totally different. Today’s manufacturing plants are immaculate as well as technologically state-of-the-art. Kids graduating high school can start with a very high hourly salary with little or no college debt. In typical Grote style, they are not sitting back. Grote has started bringing high school parents in for site tours, so they can get a real sense of what today’s manufacturing is.

Advocacy was in Columbus, Ohio for a Small Business Outreach Meeting on Trade Agreements with Japan, the European Union, and the United Kingdom March 26.

If you were unable to attend this event but would like to provide your feedback to the Office of Advocacy, please email your name, company, industry, and business size (number of employees) to

Tom Rossomando serves as the Manufacturing & Technology Advocate for the SBA Office of Advocacy, representing small businesses in the manufacturing and technology industry. Rossomando works with small business owners, state and local governments, and small business associations to bring the voice of the manufacturing and technology industry to Washington DC. He can be reached at

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