The Rohrer brothers always demonstrated a willingness to work as well as a certain knack for finding ways to make money. As young boys in the Midwest during the 70's and 80's the brothers could be found busy; delivering newspapers, shoveling snow, detasseling corn, or scouring around town for returnable soda bottles. Basically, doing anything and everything they could to earn a little spending money.
The Rohrer brother’s first foray into the food business was picking wild black raspberries from the expansive woods behind their house in Peoria, Illinois. They sold half of the harvest to neighborhood moms while processing the remainder into an ice cream topping and preserves. Raspberry production was just one of the many lessons the brothers learned in the family kitchen under the expert tutelage of their mother.
Chris and Roger's High School years were filled with afternoons and evenings working in local restaurants further fueling their interest in the world of food. Chris went on to study Restaurant Management and Roger learned the business the hard way as a Mess Cook in the U.S. Navy.
In 1990, Chris and Roger reunited in Denver and once again set out to engage their entrepreneurial pursuits. The brothers were always exemplary employees but something burned inside both of them that told them they were destined to run their own show.
While working for a Denver based food brokerage, Chris was introduced to a line of Italian foods, centered on Sun Dried Tomatoes. After cooking with some of these ingredients, Chris created the raw version of what today is our famous Christo's Sun Dried Tomato Spread.
Chris then presented the product to a number of discerning restaurateurs who confirmed he was onto something great. Chris knew that with the help of his clever brother, the two of them could translate the idea into a viable business. The brothers quickly got to work. Roger ran the production and Chris led in the areas of sales and administration.
At first it was very tense and slow but after dogged persistence and many sales calls, the business finally took flight. Years later Christo's Sun Dried Tomato Spread was being distributed throughout the U.S.
Chris worked in restaurants from the time he was able to get a work permit at age 15. There he learned the finer points of food production, service and cleanliness. While attending college at the University of Illinois, Chris was an assistant manager of a local bagel store and General manager of one of the largest bars on campus.
After college Chris was hired by Kraft foodservice in Denver and then was promoted to National accounts manager and moved to Chicago. From there he joined Dubuque meats as an institutional sales rep. He was then transferred to Green Bay, Wisconsin to manage retail food distribution. After a short stint as a Restaurant Manager, Chris returned to Denver to live near his brother. In Denver he worked in many aspects of the food industry including ice cream sales, and brokering various food products. Shortly thereafter Chris joined forces with his brother Roger and began C&R Distributing the parent company of Christo's Foods.
When not leading the team at Christo's, Chris enjoys searching for vintage vinyl and high end audio equipment. He also enjoys fishing, gardening and binge TV watching.
Roger's love of food began long before he and his brother Chris started Christo's Foods. As a child he learned to bake and cook under his mother's guidance,a woman who could easily pull of a dinner party for 50. By the time he was 12 his skills were refined enough to enter and win baking contests at the Heart of Illinois Fair in Peoria, Illinois. This love of food led to several restaurant jobs during high school and college years, Working both in the kitchen and in the front of the house Roger learned what it took to run an efficient operation.
While serving on active duty in the U.S. Navy in between his years at college, Roger was introduced to foodservice on a grand scale. As required on all Navy ships, he served three tours onboard the U.S.S. South Carolina mess decks where two thousand meals were served daily. There it was ingrained that cleanliness and attention to detail were paramount to a successful operation. After being honorably discharged Roger returned to Denver. While attending the University of Colorado at Denver he worked as a counselor to disadvantaged veterans and also worked nights in several notable Denver restaurants. Not long after Chris returned to Denver and in February of 1993 the idea of Christo's Foods was born.
When not working with food Roger is in pursuit of late 18th and early 19th century furniture. He also and avid collector of vintage clothes. In the spring and summer months he can be found tending to his garden or catching a live show at Red Rocks.