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Meet Lenny Lebovich of Pre Brands in River North

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lenny Lebovich.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve been an entrepreneur since childhood and am a born problem solver – two pieces of my personality that are essential to what I’ve done and continue to do today at Pre Brands. But the short version of how I got here goes back to when a former college roommate of mine asked for my help in strategically expanding his family beef business, the oldest meat company in Chicago (founded 1860). Digging in led me to a deep understanding of the beef industry, how it works and, ultimately, a realization that it’s not really serving consumers on their terms. The beef industry is driven by what it has, not by what consumers want. So I created Pre to be the consumer-driven solution.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
In creating, growing and leading a startup, everything has been harder than I would have ever imagined. But that’s what I love about it. I thrive off of finding, analyzing and surmounting problems and challenges.

The biggest challenges I’ve encountered thus far are:
• Getting the right people into the right seats. I’ve learned over time that company culture is (almost) everything. Culture is driven by the people, and when you bring people into a company that don’t fit the culture you want, the impact is felt across the entire organization. At the same time, finding people with a true builder mentality, who are brave enough to take the risks needed to grow a business has been challenging. I’ve learned that time spent searching for and selecting the right people is time well spent.

• Overcoming the cultural and business model legacies of the industry. As a consumer demand-driven business, Pre Brands is disrupting the supply-driven beef industry by turning it on its head. Disruption means creating something extraordinary – something out of the norm that people aren’t used to. Unfamiliarity often breeds resistance. And resistance in the tradition-based beef industry can be strong and presents an ongoing, significant challenge.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Pre Brands – what should we know?
Pre Brands is a premium, packaged, fresh foods brand dedicated to providing consumers exactly what they want: products that consistently deliver on taste, health and transparency, and the confidence to choose and prepare them. Our current focus is supplying the best-tasting, highest-quality beef in the world that empowers consumers to feel good about enjoying beef, from taste, nutrition, safety and social perspectives.

We’re incredibly unique in the beef industry. In fact, while we sell exceptional beef, Pre Brands is not a beef company at all. It’s a consumer experience-focused brand platform that was created to fill the gaps in the fresh foods marketplace for products that deliver on taste, health and transparency, through a revolutionary, consumer insights- and data-led business model. What sets us apart is that we started from a blank sheet of paper. We started from scratch to build this kind of brand.

When it comes to Pre, I’m proud of a lot, but I’m most proud of a couple of things:
• The people I work with. I’m very proud of the group I’ve collected – a group that I’m excited to work with and are excited to work with each other. I love working with good humans. So that’s who works at Pre.
• I’m also extremely proud that we’ve demonstrated that a company can set out to do the right thing and have the market reward it for doing so.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I’m very lucky to have had lots of mentors, supporters and advocates along the way. I’ve always loved networking and getting to know other entrepreneurs, and that has been extremely helpful. In my career, I’ve learned that it’s crucial to dig the well before you’re thirsty. So I’ve built relationships, invested in them, and as a result, people have been there for me when I needed it.

Currently Pre is surrounded by great investors, board members and advisors. These people and the team that comes to the office every day are the people that deserve particular credit for our achievements to date.

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Pre Brands

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