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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives
Eric Gutknecht Continental Sausage 2

Eric Gutknecht

Chief Executive Officer

CharcutNuvo made by Continental Sausage

Location: Denver, CO

Founded: 1969

Industry: Food Manufacturing

To the world, Gutknecht is a leader, philanthropist, and the epitome of integrity.

By definition, Eric Gutknecht is an artist.

Skilled in charcuterie, the art of making sausages and other cured smoked and preserved meats, Gutknecht is a fourth-generation Swiss sausage maker. Gutknecht, whose parents purchased Continental Sausage, Inc. in 1982, knew from an early age that he wanted to continue the family legacy. He purchased the company in 2003 and has spent over 15 years manufacturing high quality sausage.

After a rebranding in 2015, Charc?tNuvo™, the name that Continental Sausage, Inc. is trademarked at the retail and restaurant level, has incorporated a strong focus on sourcing all natural products and is in the process of launching an organic product line. In his leadership role, Gutknecht has helped to significantly expand distribution to large retailers including Costco, Whole Foods, and Kroger resulting in over 500% growth of the company.

“Significant growth opportunities with the organic product line exist over the next 5 years,” Gutknecht said. “The product line was created and tested in 2019 and will launch in spring 2020. We are thrilled to say that our product line has been well received by several retailers.” He added that new packaging and a fresh logo will be rolled out in 2020 to increase brand awareness.”

Much of Gutknecht’s success can be attributed to his attention to detail. With a trophy case full of culinary and business awards, Charc?tNuvo™ has emerged as a food industry pacesetter for safety, cleanliness, and sustainability. With no exceptions and very proudly Gunknecht does not cut corners, by using only the highest quality all-natural ingredients, Gutknecht has personally visited farms and knows exactly where his ingredients are sourced from.

“Sustainable family farms that do not use antibiotics or hormones and treat animals humanely are identified and used to supply our business” Gutknecht said.

Gutknecht, who knows each employee by name, said that his company culture remains strong because of the family atmosphere. In addition to connecting at family picnics, Gutknecht and his team join forces to support Denver Kids each year. With the help of the staff, Gutknecht raises between $10,000-$15,000 for Denver Kids every year. Gutknecht and Continental Sausage, Inc., have been recognized for several awards including: 2013 CEO of the Year Finalist; 2013 Top 50 Family Owned Companies; 2014 Partners in Philanthropy Finalist; 2014 Good Food Award, Pastrami; ColoradoBiz Top Company 2015, Manufacturing; 2015 Good Food Award, Pheasant with Mushroom, Parmesan, and Spinach; 2015 Best Place For Team Building. On a personal level, Gutnecht has been recognized as a 2012 Ironman Kona Qualifier and a 2017 Team USA Athlete in Triathlon8. Gutknecht attributes his business success to continuous product innovation and a continued desire to maintain his family’s legacy. He acknowledges that business and personal success does not come without hard work and dedication.

“You need to be proactive versus reactive,” he said.

For his attention to detail and artisan skills in the sausage industry, Gunknecht has been named a Titan 100.

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Fun Fact:

?Eric is an elite triathlete and wakes up each day at 3AM to train—he also takes a 30 minute power nap each day to increase productivity.


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