Sausage man not ready for the chop
John Percy has an exit strategy for the business he created more than two decades ago — but he’s not activating it just yet.
If you run a business, chances are you haven’t thought about where it will end. But having an exit strategy can save a lot of heartache — and money.
Perhaps better known as ‘The Famous Sausage Man’, Ambrosia Quality Foods owner John Percy has for decades successfully navigated his way in and out of business ventures and has a plan to sell his healthy Kardinya business.
Now in his 70s, an age that has seen off most of the workforce, this businessman knows that an exit strategy is pivotal to the smooth running and ultimate survival of the enterprise well before his last day on the factory floor arrives.
Now that he’s built up the business — he works four days a week and Percy’s wife, Lyn, has stepped out of the operation — his exit strategy is to sell it when he turns 80, as none of his four children are interested in taking over the reins.
“Because I have good staff, I manage it,” Percy said.
“I am the managing director of our company, the sole director, but we have made it into a business that has such loyal staff — most have been with me the whole 20 years — so it is not a difficult business to run in that respect, because we’ve got it well-tuned and we know it so well.”
Percy’s business kicked off in 1995, now employs 30 staff and manufactures food for the lunch bar and roadhouse markets in WA and Queensland.
He says that while he is fit and healthy, he’s happy to let the company tick along for the next 10 years.
He started Ambrosia Quality Foods while he was running a fuel distribution business in Karratha. By the time BP bought him out, he already had his ticket out of the Pilbara town, with some money in the bank.
He saw an opportunity to bring the ‘Famous Sausage Man’ brand, which was operated by a single owner in Queensland, to WA.
“So I bought a licence agreement off him to manufacture in WA (and) after 12 months the guy in Queensland went bust,” he said.
“I was left with Famous Sausage Man in WA, and we were supplying Coles, Woolworths and Action with fresh sausages, but that got very tough. The margins on the product just got screwed right down and it got too hard.
“So we reinvented many times. In the meantime, we picked up this opportunity to do crumbed products for the route trade for the lunch bars and roadhouse trade stops — that’s what you call food service — so we went into that.”
He’s a clever operator. While acknowledging he was unhappy towards the end of his time in Karratha, he bided his time and got out with money in the bank.
He plans to do again when he sells Ambrosia. Find out more about Ambrosia Foods here.