Meet the Stahmanns Family: MaryLou Saenz, Quality Manager

The secret ingredient to a perfect pecan is teamwork and trust. We couldn’t deliver such a high-quality product without the loyal and unrelenting hard work of our entire team. And as we’ve said before—whether we’re related by blood or bonded through work, we’re all part of the ever-growing, pecan-loving Stahmanns family. 

This month, we continue our blog series, “Meet the Stahmanns Family,” with MaryLou Saenz, our brilliant Quality Manager. Read on to learn how MaryLou’s steadfast dedication and attention-to-detail helps us deliver the perfect pecan, time and time again.

Q: What is your role at Stahmanns?

A: I am the site Quality Manager and also the SQF Practitioner. My role is to ensure that quality specifications are met of our Stahmanns product(s) and the delivery of product to its end user is never compromised. I ensure quality compliance from the time that the pecan is harvested in the sorting plant all the way to its transfer to shelling, processing, and final packaging. Every detail of the product down to its packaging and label is critical and very important to us and our customer. All this is accomplished through quality inspection and testing. Products are not released to our customers unless the quality of the product meets all regulatory and ISO requirements.

I am also responsible for the renewal of SQF, NGMO, and Gluten Free Certifications annually.

The value of my role at Stahmanns is the great satisfaction I have in knowing that the products sold to any customer meets the highest level of quality and regulatory compliance expectations, ie, FDA and USDA. It’s always exciting to come to work because I get to work with all of the employees in all of the departments and they all know that they play a vital part in maintaining the integrity of the quality of our product. They care very much about quality and compliance associated with the work that’s done here at Stahmanns. So we truly work as a team to exceed customer expectations.

Stahmanns Pecans

Taste is by far one of the most important quality attributes but it must have the crunchiness and smell of a fresh pecan.

– MaryLou Saenz

Stahmanns Pecans

Taste is by far one of the most important quality attributes but it must have the crunchiness and smell of a fresh pecan.

– MaryLou Saenz

Q: Why did you choose Stahmanns as your “home?”

A: I chose Stahmanns because it is a company with a legacy and history in making great quality products. I like working with the best of the best. Eighty plus years in the business is what sets them apart.

NON-GMO Certified Pecans
Kosher Pecans
Wholesale pecans
Wholesale pecans
Wholesale pecans
Wholesale pecans
Women Owned

Q: What makes the perfect pecan?

A:  Pecans are important to a customer when they open a Stahmanns box and receive exactly what they ordered. They must look great in color and appearance; however, the perfect pecan to our customer must also meet other criteria. Taste is by far one of the most important quality attributes but it must have the crunchiness and smell of a fresh pecan. So Stahmanns is diligent in conducting sensory tests of the product in every shift of the operation to ensure once again, the finished product is of top quality. And of course, we always provide a certificate of compliance that meets all of the chemical and microbiological limits per regulatory requirements.

Q: How can you detect the perfect pecans from the imperfect ones?

A: The shelling facility has steps in the process flow where pecans will separate by color and size. Our high tech color sorters don’t just separate color and size but they also can reject shell and cork. This equipment is capable of rejecting products automatically if the size for example is not met; however, all pecans go through quality inspection. That means that the perfect pecan should meet certain product specifications such as color, size, moisture, and water activity. These are some of the quality checks which must meet regulatory and customer requirements and are quality attributes that are measured and monitored continuously. If the criteria is not met, the product is rejected for further reprocessing.

Stahmanns Pecans

I am a firm believer in continuous improvement and Stahmanns has taken the steps to uphold this philosophy and put this system into practice.

– MaryLou Saenz

Stahmanns Pecans

I am a firm believer in continuous improvement and Stahmanns has taken the steps to uphold this philosophy and put this system into practice.

– MaryLou Saenz

Q: What steps does Stahmanns take to uphold premium quality?

A: I am a firm believer in continuous improvement and Stahmanns has taken the steps to uphold this philosophy and put this system into practice. Machinery and equipment has been upgraded with great capabilities and redundancy systems in place to separate the product as needed with minimal intervention. The process flow is continuous and the quality inspection once entered into a database, delivers instantaneous results. We are able to monitor results in real-time and are able to make quality decisions immediately. We are also able to present data in many different ways. The tools that have been put in place have made my life easier in presenting quality compliance of every lot we produce to any regulatory body, notified body and/or customer at a moment’s notice. The capability to pull trend charts is also very important because they are used not only to make quality decisions, but are also a great tool to educate the team and share accomplishments and reward employees. So it is exciting to have this tool to improve on our processes and celebrate with our employees.

Stahmanns Pecans

The team of quality inspectors contribute in a big way as they are also experienced and have a strong background in quality. They are able to work with the latest technology that is made available to them. I feel blessed to work with such a talented team. All of the employees do an outstanding job in their roles as they appreciate the work they do and understand the importance of putting quality first.

Q: What do you love about Stahmanns Pecans?

A: Well what I love about Stahmanns is that this company welcomed me when I was hired and allowed me to bring ideas to the table. The team is cohesive and I like that the president of the company is a phone call away. I have worked with big corporations in the past but I truly enjoy the feeling of coming to work with the team here knowing they make themselves available on short notice; but also it’s great to meet face to face with senior leaders. The values in this company allow me to work freely with everyone knowing that we are open and honest and believe in delivering high quality product each and every time to all of our customer base.

Some of the employees who work here have been here a long time and they also have a great level of experience and expertise that comes with it; so it is always nice to be able to reach out to them. Their sense of pride in the work they do is evident as they are always willing to share their knowledge.

As for the product and what I love about it? I think it pretty much speaks for itself. Stahmanns has a great reputation of producing high quality products and now that I am employed here, I am proud to say I am a part of the team that makes that happen every time the product is packaged and shipped out to the customer. I happen to be one of those customers and my family enjoys them thoroughly!

I have worked in quality manufacturing and labs for more than 20 years and I thoroughly enjoy the level of satisfaction when a product has met all of the quality requirements it needs and the customer is 100% satisfied. Process excellence is the culture we strive for. We will never fail when we raise the bar and exceed customer expectations. This is the work environment I seek and have found when I come to work here at Stahmanns.

Experience the unrivaled quality MaryLou delivers today!

We wouldn’t be able to uphold our superior quality standards without the hard work of MaryLou and our entire Quality Team. Her commitment, along with countless others, is what enables us to deliver the perfect pecan with each and every order. Taste the difference for yourself today.

Contact us today to get in touch and place your first order. 

TOLL FREE: (844) 739-6887 
FOR SALES: (575) 644-8247 

One thought on “Meet the Stahmanns Family: MaryLou Saenz, Quality Manager

  1. Rachel Kelly Geary says:

    Good afternoon, I’m one of the people the used to love to driving through the pecan tree canopy and stop at the store. I am in love with cloud like pecan log rolls. Would you know of any place in the area that might still be making pecan log rolls like that? No other brand that I have had so far measures up to Stahmann’s candy makers talent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *