Alexian is proud to be a family-owned company, currently headed up by the second generation. Alexandra Groezinger grew up with pâté and has served as CEO for three years. Recently, she was honored as one of New Jersey’s leading business professionals at the NJBIZ 40 Under 40 event. We’re so excited that her incredible work at Alexian is being recognized. To celebrate, here’s a little peek behind the curtain: ten fast facts with Alexandra herself, plus a few bonus stories!
What was it like growing up with Alexian?
The best! While all the other kids in school had PB&J sandwiches for lunch, I had pâté on crackers! Growing up in a foodie family with deep European roots, I was always exposed to new and exciting foods. And of course, we always had pâté and Black Forest Ham in the fridge!
What was your first job?
As soon as I was old enough to work, I started bussing tables at a little breakfast cafe around the corner from my house, and I’ve been in food ever since.
What’s your favorite holiday?
I love Thanksgiving because for me, it is about celebrating the love and connection we have with our family and also close friends that we call family. It’s the holiday where both sides of the family celebrate together as one and share lots of laughs and good food.
Who are some of your role models?
My mom, first and foremost. I took her place in the company and I have big shoes to fill! I admire her for her strength, tenacity, and resilience and for all she has done for our family and for this company. When my dad, the founder of the company, passed away suddenly in 1994, she took it over and built it to what it is today. I am so lucky to have her as a mom and as a mentor. It is an honor to sit in her chair.
What’s something you’re proud of?
I am proud of our team. We achieved the great honor of NJ Manufacturer of the Year in 2021, and could not have done it without their loyalty to our company and dedication to making high quality products in an ever-changing regulatory environment. The culture here is one of resilience, kindness, and unity and I am so proud to have such a wonderful group supporting our brand.
What are your top three favorite pâtés?
Truffle Mousse, Duck Liver and Pork Mousse with Cognac, and Duck Rillette
How did Alexian get its name?
We are a family-owned business, so naturally the name is rooted in family as well. Alexian is a combination of my name (Alexandra or Alex for short) and my brother’s name (Ian).
What’s something people wouldn’t expect about you?
Usually it’s my career choice. I guess a 5 foot tall, blonde female is not usually the head of a meatpacking plant! Admittedly, I get a little bit of satisfaction from it 😉
What do you love most about New Jersey?
There are so many great things about NJ that it’s hard to pick just one. First, the location can’t be beat – we have relatively easy access to so many great places like NYC, Philly, Washington DC, New England, and a few major airports to choose from that can fly you direct to many places in the world. Secondly, the beach. I grew up a mile from the beach and spent my summers riding my bike there, and still do to this day. The ocean is a large part of our culture at the Jersey Shore, where I call home. Thirdly, the food here is amazing. NJ is such a melting pot of cultures and we are blessed to have so many different types of food at our fingertips. And for those of you wondering if I am on Team Pork Roll or Team Taylor Ham…it’s Team Pork Roll for me!
What’s a unique pâté snack you enjoy?
I love putting pâté on homemade pizza. I love to cook, and one of my favorite things to do is pour a glass of red wine, and roll out some pizza dough, and experiment with different toppings. Instead of sausage, crumble a little bit of Pâté de Campagne, or a few dollops of Duck Rillette!
What advice do you have for other women in business?
Be unapologetically YOU. Many women (and men for that matter), assume there is a box you must fit in to be in business; that you must look a certain way, dress a certain way, behave a certain way, speak a certain way, etc. The secret is, there is no box. Be yourself and do and be what feels best for YOU. You will lead better this way.
What’s something you’re looking forward to?
At the time I am writing this, which is likely to be published after I return, I am looking forward to a family trip to Germany. The founder of the company, my dad, was originally from Stuttgart, where he learned the art and skill of being a wurstmacher which means sausage maker in German. It was there that the concept of this business was conceived. The American Groezingers, hailing from New Jersey, Vermont, Florida, and California, will meet up with the German Grözingers (the German spelling of the Americanized “Groezinger”) for a family reunion and to spend time in the place where our family began. We will be in Germany during Oktoberfest and will certainly be enjoying ourselves with liters of beer and lots of authentic German cuisine!