What I Learned At MAFSI 2022

MAFSI 2022
  • Imperial Dade
  • Simplot Frozen Avocado
  • McKee Foodservice
  • RATIONAL USA
  • AyrKing Mixstir
  • AHF National Conference 2024
  • Easy Ice
  • DAVO by Avalara
  • Day & Nite
  • BelGioioso Burrata
  • RAK Porcelain
  • T&S Brass Eversteel Pre-Rinse Units
  • Cuisine Solutions
  • Atosa USA
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Article by Chelsea Stuck, President & Founder of Craeve & Co.

Like most, I spent the last two years isolated from almost everyone in the foodservice industry. When your company is only a year old and a pandemic hits, the road map isn’t quite the same as a long established business.

I didn’t know what to do other than stay safe, not only to ensure we survived but also to maintain confidence with every client we gained during the tumultuous time. Thanks to our team, partners, family, and friends, I am happy to report back that not only did we survive, but we did indeed thrive.

I anxiously awaited what would come next when getting back into the market to see our business partners in person. Our messaging, skill sets, services, and overall brand has grown leaps and bounds since my last foray at a trade show. Our team geared up and was eager to attend NAFEM in the Fall, but unfortunately, COVID won again.


Jason Wange Chelsea StuckSo, when MAFSI 2022 decided to move forward, I was excited and equally terrified. Our entire team, myself included, was either sick or recovering from being sick, and all I could think about was if we couldn’t make it, after all this waiting.

Luckily, by the time the show came around, all magically seemed to align – we were healthy, rested, and ready to go! We were asked to give two presentations and had a vendor booth to aid in our networking. We busted onto the scene with help from our friends, Jason Wange at FSPN and Rich Malachy at FEDD and our team had an incredible time and bonded in a way I could only dream of as their leader. After it was all over I kept thinking…why couldn’t we all stop smiling and laughing? What was this pure feeling of joy that had been summoned in each of us? Truthfully, I had forgotten what that felt like.

MAFSI Rich MalachyNot only did I learn a lot to aid in my role in this industry, but MAFSI 2022 also showed me that we needed this. We needed to come together after two long years apart and share more stories and experiences, to better those around us. We needed to continue our education – both personally and professionally. We needed to stop being ON so much, because if anything, COVID taught us how much we collectively have to lose. We are an industry that needs people and interaction to not only survive but to grow. We need to share laughs and break bread together. We need camaraderie as much as we need competition to not only drive us to do more but allow us to achieve more.

The Craeve Team is an entirely remote team – in fact, we are not much different than a manufacturer whose main sales team is a series of reps throughout the industry. And, if I can bring anything to the surface from MAFSI 2022 for my group, and those in a similar position, here it is.

  • RAK Porcelain
  • Cuisine Solutions
  • McKee Foodservice
  • Atosa USA
  • Day & Nite
  • DAVO by Avalara
  • RATIONAL USA
  • Imperial Dade
  • Easy Ice
  • Simplot Frozen Avocado
  • BelGioioso Burrata
  • AHF National Conference 2024
  • AyrKing Mixstir
  • T&S Brass Eversteel Pre-Rinse Units

1. Connection is Vital.

MAFSI Brian CarterIf you are not connecting with your customers regularly, you are not hearing their struggles or solving their problems. We need to make it a priority to meet face to face when it counts and provide supporting information consistently and efficiently – because we are ALL pressed for time. If you respect the time your customers give you, they will give you that same respect back.

2. Content is Crucial.

We get it, we are all in sales on some level. Selling food, selling drinks, selling products, selling services, selling solutions…customers want you to be as transparent as possible, you need to tell them key information upfront. Don’t make people jump through hoops for a simple answer. You are the expert; your customers trust you to know what you’re talking about!

3. Continuing Education is Key.

MAFSI Carl KisnerNo one knows everything. Accept the fact you might not know how to do something or have the answer, and start learning. You will gain a lot more respect taking this route as opposed to acting like you have all the answers. If you are a manager who can’t keep staff, take a course on leadership. If you are a salesperson who’s terrible at follow-up, invest the time in learning software that helps you track leads. CEOs didn’t wake up one day and get handed the keys without learning a TON of new skills and adapting along the way. Whether it’s personal growth or professional growth, investing in your mind and emotional skills will pay off.

4. Personal Growth is a Priority.

You are not held captive to who you were pre-pandemic, during the pandemic, or now POST-pandemic. If you want to innovate, you must get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Just like continuing education is key for success, your mental, emotional, and physical health all matter greatly in your ability to succeed. People are more forgiving than you think, and everyone loves a comeback story. It’s never too late to change your trajectory.

Hospitality is all about making people happy. If we aren’t happy or our best selves, we are doing our clients and coworkers a disservice. We intend to take these lessons to heart in 2022 and push the envelope both personally and professionally along the way. Attending industry events and seminars like the MAFSI Conference with this in mind is a big part of our strategy for growth and we invite you to do it with us!


About Craeve: Craeve & Co. is a plug-and-play sales and marketing department, streamlining sales, rebranding your look, and automating your marketing strategy. President & Founder Chelsea Stuck and the Craeve & Co. team offer various services ranging from strategic sales planning and digital marketing to social media management, content development, and website design and hosting. As an industry insider, Chelsea built Craeve & Co. on the back of a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications and a highly decorated sales management career in the hospitality industry working alongside national accounts, national dealers and managing rep firms for manufacturers. To learn more, visit their website.

  • Simplot Frozen Avocado
  • DAVO by Avalara
  • AyrKing Mixstir
  • Atosa USA
  • AHF National Conference 2024
  • T&S Brass Eversteel Pre-Rinse Units
  • Easy Ice
  • BelGioioso Burrata
  • McKee Foodservice
  • Day & Nite
  • Imperial Dade
  • RATIONAL USA
  • RAK Porcelain
  • Cuisine Solutions