Seasoned operations professional, Brandon Hernandez, has spent more than a decade in the food production industry. In 2017, he co-founded Whole Brain Consulting, a minority-owned, premiere food industry consultancy that operates out of Chicago, IL, and Boulder, CO. The Whole Brain Consulting team provides specialized assessment and management of contract manufacturer sourcing, food safety, quality assurance, quality control, supply chain and logistics, research and development, general operations, and private equity due diligence. The company has seen immense growth since its inception—more than 20% per year—even in the midst of the COVID pandemic. As testament to Whole Brain’s success, Brandon was recently listed as one of the Top 100 Food and Beverage Leaders by the Global Summit on All Things Food (GSAF). Boasting more than 350 years of collective experience, Whole Brain’s team of outsourced operations experts offer manufacturing and co-packing connections and comprehensive solutions customized to each customer’s unique needs. As a company with global reach, Whole Brain works with clients throughout the world—Cambodia, Europe, Canada, South America, China, to name a few—facilitating both domestic services and export programs.
Brandon attributes the consultancy’s rapid growth to his associates, most of whom are veterans in their given fields and specialize in one area. “We provide better and higher quality service and expend a lot of capital on high level personnel,” says Hernandez. “I believe we currently have the best people in the best positions, and we continue to make that concerted effort as we maintain our talent pool.”
Much of Whole Brain’s success is also due to the diverse services the consultancy provides. While some clients turn to Whole Brain for supply chain, others may come for beverage formulation, R&D, or a whole sweep of the other services the company offers. Most of their clients do not produce their own products, so associates frequently help them find manufacturers for their brands. As the needs of their clients change, the team expands to include experts in the newly identified verticals. “For example, we recently began doing due diligence for private equity firms,” says Hernandez. “Essentially, we determine if the client is buying something of value or if it’s a purchase that’s not worth the money from an operational perspective.” For such an evaluation, Whole Brain conducts a review of the manufacturing assets to ensure operations are stable. New brands receive an operational review of the leadership team.
Prior to co-founding Whole Brain, Hernandez spent a number of years working his way through the operational, research and development, supply chain, and quality assurance aspects of food manufacturing. After graduating from Colorado State University with a degree in biology, he began his career at Zateca Foods, where he focused on FDA compliance for this large scale food manufacturer, as well as supply chain, R&D, and general plant operations management. For more than 10 years, Hernandez worked for a manufacturer or for the customer base of a specific operation.
In contrast, Whole Brain’s offerings span farm-to-table and most CPG brands, operating on a much larger scale and serving multiple client bases. Hernandez’s background in science, experience in sourcing raw materials, and tutelage under several talented mentors equipped him with an in-depth understanding of food safety and prepared him for his current role as senior partner. “When I am evaluating a large-scale manufacturing line, there are a lot of facets—including water activity, pH and overall formulation of the products—which are contributing factors for bacteria to thrive in certain environments. My understanding of biology, chemistry, and physics allows me to understand how they all interact with one another.”
Outside of work, Hernandez serves as a board member for Naturally Boulder and Naturally Network, both of which are educational hubs for the food industry. He also works with the Northern Colorado Rush Soccer Club and Soccer Without Borders. Hernandez is also deeply grateful for his family and his business partner, Will Madden.
Co-founder and Senior Partner
Whole Brain Consulting
Facebook: Whole Brain Consulting
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