Young CEO Saves his Family’s Company from Bankruptcy

In 2000, Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs was on the verge of financial collapse and considering filing for bankruptcy. Then, recent college graduate Jesse Laflamme, grandson of one of the company’s original founders, stepped in and made changes that transformed the egg producer into what it is today - a flourishing company that partners with 125 family farms in 14 states to produce high quality, organic eggs. In 2017, Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs earned $177 million in revenue, up from a few hundred thousand dollars at the end of the 1990s.

Changing Methods to Suit Today’s Consumers

Today’s consumers, particularly younger consumers, are more health-conscious than consumers of earlier generations. Similarly, they place a greater emphasis on sustainability in the production of the products they buy. Knowing this, Pete and Gerry’s chose to make their operation completely organic instead of adopting the factory-farming practices used by other egg producers to scale their operations to meet supermarket demands. When the company made the conscious choice to make its operation organic, the market for organic eggs in the United States was very slim. Today, that market is much larger and Pete and Gerry’s is now the #2 egg brand in the nation.

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Avoiding Bankruptcy

In the case of Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs, Jesse Laflamme worked hard to keep the company from having to file for bankruptcy to save itself from financial hardship. Although this frames bankruptcy as a danger that companies have to protect themselves against, there are many cases in which bankruptcy is the most effective choice for managing debt and avoiding financial ruin.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy enables a struggling business to pay off its creditors and reorganize its operation to become profitable. Often, this means cutting programs and other expenses that are not bringing returns for the company. Filing for bankruptcy means enacting the automatic stay, a court order for all of your creditors to stop collection attempts while the bankruptcy case is pending. Bankruptcy can give your company the time it needs to work out its reorganization plan. It can also mean paying back less than the full amount of debt overall or reducing the amount due each month, giving your company “breathing room” to rebuild its operation. This does not mean bankruptcy is the right choice for every case; when a company has relatively little debt and can repay its creditors without the protection bankruptcy provides, this is often the better choice.

Work with an Experienced Libertyville Bankruptcy Attorney

You can learn more about bankruptcy during your initial legal consultation with one of the experienced bankruptcy lawyers on our team at Newland & Newland, LLP. During your consultation, we can discuss the general principles of bankruptcy as well as the specific details of your case before you file for bankruptcy. Contact us today to get started. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.

(image courtesy of Rebekah Howell)

  • Newland & Newland LLP, Attorneys, Arlington Heights, IL