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June 26, 2023

Vertical integration, strong company culture helped LesserEvil conquer pandemic

HBJ PHOTO | ANDREW LARSON CEO Charles Coristine stands outside LesserEvil’s office building at 41 Eagle Road in Danbury. The building is adorned with murals.
Andrew Larson | Hartford Business Journal

LesserEvil survived the COVID-19 pandemic in better shape than many competitors because it’s a vertically integrated company, according to CEO Charles Coristine.

“During COVID, a lot of production disappeared because bigger retailers like Costco, for instance, came in and ordered a lot of stuff, and the smaller guys weren’t able to necessarily get all the production they needed,” Coristine said. “By having our own facility, we were able to come in and fill the gaps and pick up, but we also innovated a lot, and we came up with a lot of new flavors when other people weren’t doing that.”

Also, being together throughout the pandemic — as a food manufacturer, they were exempt from mandatory business closures — helped solidify the company culture, Coristine explained.

LesserEvil’s Danbury headquarters, at 41 Eagle Road, has a fitness center, ping-pong room, and a machine that dispenses water infused with flavors such as watermelon, coconut and cucumber.

The office is filled with bright colors and wall murals that match the company’s health-minded themes.

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