The Lyric Group was established in 2009 by Rob Leichman.
Rob has been involved in the specialty food trade for over twenty years, with a proven record of success in brand management, strategic planning, global sales, management of branding, positioning and design, co-packer identification and management, new product development, distribution, procurement, staffing and import/export management. He has deep and established relationships with buyers in every major distribution channel: specialty retail, grocery, club stores, foodservice, direct to consumer, drug and export. His long-standing sales relationships include retailers such as Whole Foods Market, Williams-Sonoma, Target, Walmart, Publix, The Fresh Market and Dean & DeLuca. Rob is currently a Mentor at Brooklyn FoodWorks and serves on the advisory boards of LunaPops and Southern Culture.
Previously, Rob has served as VP of Sales & Business Development at Ciao Bella Gelato, a category-leading national ice cream brand, and VP of Sales & Marketing at D’Artagnan, a national brand of specialty meats. In 2003, Rob established Verve Trading, an importer and master distributor of on-trend specialty food brands. Prior to selling the company in 2006, he amassed a portfolio of eight brands, all selected for their emphasis on quality and style, and strategically marketed to A-list retailers nationally. The Verve Trading line of condiments from South Africa – So!Go – won the Sofi Award for Best Packaging & Design at the 2005 NASFT Fancy Food Show.
Currently, The Lyric Group engages in brand management and business development in the retail and foodservice trades. Clients are emerging national brands across multiple categories and channels, ranging in sales volume from $500k – $20mm. Present and past clients include Vosges Haut-Chocolat, Rick’s Picks, Bee Raw Honey, LunaPops, Victoria Amory & Co., Grady’s Cold Brew, Morris Kitchen, The Jam Stand, Brooklyn Brine, Steve’s Ice Cream, Better Together, Just Enough, Batch, Hudson Standard, Fizzy Lizzy, SchoolHouse Kitchen, Sir Kensington’s, Z Crackers, The Brooklyn Slate Company, Beer Flats, High Road, Snow Soda, Dave’s Gourmet, Mother In Law’s Kimchi, Glee Gum, Pure Gourmet, The Brooklyn Salsa Company, Happy Goat, Jimtown, Sencha Naturals, Sweet Riot, Botanical Bakery and Little Cow Cookies.
Prior to launching a career in food sales and marketing, Rob spent close to ten years cooking in some of the best white tablecloth restaurants in NYC.
Kaitlin Lee, Business Development Manager
A California native, Kaitlin moved East to join New York’s ever evolving food scene several years ago. A former buyer at Stinky Brooklyn, a tastemaker among NYC’s cheese and specialty stores, Kaitlin comes to The Lyric Group with both proven retail experience and a passion for the people creating new, on-trend products and brands. When Kaitlin’s not buying, selling or happily devouring a range of funky foods, she can be found cooking with friends or exploring and photographing her new hometown. A graduate of Wesleyan University with a degree in Film Studies, she currenty resides in Brooklyn.
Mary Stamatelos, Director of Operations
A native of Lefkada, Greece, Mary brings her expertise in operations and procurement to The Lyric Group. Having grown up on a diet of amazing olive oils, olives, honeys and cheeses, Mary is a dedicated member of The Lyric Group’s new product tasting committee.