2023 Star Women in Grocery Award Winner Sharon Rotzang (Q&A)

Rising Star
Kristin Laird
Managing Editor
Kristin Laird
Sharon Rotzang
Sharon Rotzang

Sharon Rotzang

Senior Director of Business Development
La Presserie

How did you get your start in the grocery/CPG business?

My family has been in the food business since I was born. My dad worked at Canada Packers and Beatrice Foods, and when I was around eight years old he started his own business called Tiffany Gate Foods (TGF). His idea was to bring restaurant-quality salads and prepared foods to supermarket deli counters. It was a family affairwe all worked at TGF. I started out making salad dressings and assembling salads when I was off from school. Throughout high school and university, I worked at TGF during summer breaks, moving from the plant to the office to help the sales team. After graduating law school and living in Los Angeles for eight years, I returned to the family business, this time with my husband Rich. We worked there until the company was sold in 2017. After the sale, we started La Presserie. I would say the food business is truly a passion my whole family shares.  

What is your best quality?

In both in my professional and personal life, I try to look at the bright side. It’s easy to get lost in issues, complications, roadblocks, etc., but I make a sincere effort to see how we can make the best of the situation in front of us. It has helped smooth over challenging situations.

What keeps you motivated at work? 

La Presserie is an innovation machine. We are constantly challenging ourselves by introducing products that are a perfect combination of plant-based, delicious, nutritious and convenient. Our new Cold Pressed Cocktail Mixers are amazing. They won an Innovation Award at SIAL Toronto this year, and we were featured in the LCBO’s Food & Drink magazine. Working with such creative R&D chefs and industry veterans keeps my daily work life interesting and motivating.

What do you like most about your job?

Being surrounded by passionate people is the best part of my job. Every team member at La Presserie, from our amazing production team to our administrative staff to our merchandising and marketing teams, loves what they do. We believe in our mission to make the best plant-based foods on the market. Also, being a family business, I love coming to the office every day and working alongside my parents, Adolph and Mary Zarovinsky, and my husband and general manager Richard Rotzang.

What is your proudest moment?

I have two in my personal life: when each of my kids was born. Professionally, it was when I passed the California Bar Exam. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, I had graduated from Western Law, was called to the Ontario Bar, and worked in commercial litigation for a few years. After getting married I moved to L.A. and went back to school and completed a masters of law from Pepperdine University in dispute resolution. After graduating, I decided to take the California Bar. It was notoriously one of the hardest bar exams in the U.S., so I was nervous to say the least. After months of studying, exam day came and if you can believe it, there was an earthquake in the middle of the test! When I passed, I was over the moon. I still think about it years later.  

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

Family time is the most important. We love biking, going to the cottage and travelling together. Our next big adventure is in Orlando, where we will participate in the Walt Disney World 5K marathon at Epcot!

Click here for the full list of 2023 Star Women in Grocery award winners.

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