Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

SEP 2018

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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46 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • SEPTEMBER 2018 dealer, now owned by Edward Don & Company, and landed a job in customer service. "My dad also taught me to learn every aspect of the business you are in, so that's what I did," Harrison says. "In the jewelry business, we were manufac- turers so I learned how the ring is cast, how it's assembled, how diamonds are set, polished, and how the jewelry is sold and shipped." At Atlanta Fixtures, Harrison learned about and connected with manufacturers and rep groups. "When I first came to Atlanta Fixtures, it opened me up to so much more that was out there. Before at the restaurant, I sliced all my tomatoes by hand, but then I discovered there was a tomato slicer, a machine, that could do that for you. It was exciting to learn about all the products on the market." After a few years, Harrison fell upon another job opportunity in the equip- ment and supplies industry, this time at Instawares, then just a startup in the online world. In fact, Harrison came on board in 2006 during a time when online sales in the industry were just blooming. Over the next 12 years, Instawares would become Supplies on the Fly and Har- rison would emerge as its top salesperson. While he works primarily from the Sup- plies on the Fly office in Kennesaw, Ga., Harrison travels from time to time to oversee installations and openings. Harrison admits that he is extremely competitive. At Supplies on the Fly, everyone is privy to each others' sales figures, and Harrison always pursued the top spot on that list. This drive, yet again another key trait he learned from his father, has led to a $900,000 monthly quota, although Harrison says he can be flexible with this if only his ambition would subside. Harrison admits he doesn't cope well with stress, but his relaxed demeanor suggests otherwise. In the office at 7 a.m. and out sometimes at 6 p.m., he's one to continue work at night and answer emails, even if they're at 2 a.m. This is the nature of restaurant clientele, after all. "In all my workings in the foodservice industry since the 1980s, I have never had the pleasure of working with a person who writes the amount of volume that he does on his own without any real support network, other than some coordination of team efforts," says Jan Vergouwen, "Eric and I have been working together for eight years. He has been instru- mental in Sysco Metro New York's growth in supplies and equipment. His product knowledge, creativity, timeliness and attention to details makes projects large and small seem easy and manageable." — Neal Callanan, marketing manager, non-foods, Sysco Metro New York ERIC ERIC 7

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