The Secrets of Annie’s Purpose Driven Success

 By: John Foraker Editor’s note: John Foraker is the President of Annie’s, Inc. John joined Annie’s in 1999. He’s grown the business to more than $250MM in revenues and led its successful sale to General Mills in October 2014 for $820MM. Follow John on Twitter at @AnniesCEO. How did we make this purpose driven business so successful? ...

Craftsman and Wolves: How One Cafe Is Thriving Amid Rabid Competition

“Craftsman and Wolves is, more or less, a patisserie and café,” says William Werner, the chef and one half of the team that owns and runs the fantastically named San Francisco pastry shop. The other half is Sarah Werner, who adds, “But we offer something that’s not really available with other pastry shops.” That something ...

The Angel Investor’s Guide to Investing in Food

 By: Sara Hillstrom Investments in small, innovative food companies can be quite lucrative. These firms have attracted the attention of larger Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) organizations that are on a quest for innovation, and paying substantial multiples to get it. Packaged food and beverage is a steady, countercyclical, low single-digit growth, $368B[1] industry. It is also ...

Blackbird Vineyards: Inside the Complicated, Fascinating World of Wine

By: CircleUp We tend to think of wineries as passion brands. We imagine the people behind the brand spending every waking moment steeped in the rich and complex world of wine. We picture owners spending their days strolling through the vineyard with dirt under their fingernails, sharing a bottle of their favorite vintage each night ...

Phin & Phebes: The Story of Two Founders Who Quit their Day Jobs to Change the Ice Cream Industry

There were 20 quarts of ice cream manufactured per person in the U.S. in 2010. The market generated over $10 billion in revenue. That same year Jess Eddy and Crista Freeman decided to quit their jobs in user experience and e-commerce management, respectively, to start an ice cream company, Phin & Phebes. Ice cream is ...

How Icelandic Yogurt Ended up in Almost Every Whole Foods in America

As a child in the small port town of Hafnarfjörður, Iceland, Smári Ásmundsson enjoyed one treat in particular: a slightly sour yogurt called skyr. In the morning, he’d eat it with fresh oats; in the evenings, with fruit or jam. And so did hundreds of thousands of other Icelanders: as far back as the 9th ...

Win the Race by Cutting in Line: IP Timing Strategies for Startups

 By: Vic Lin  I can still hear the familiar shout – “No cutting!” – when I reminisce about the lunch line back at my grade school. It’s a rule ingrained in us since childhood that we generally follow in our business world. As startups seek to differentiate themselves in the consumer products space, the question is ...

Meet Sustain: A Father-Daughter Team Has Created The First Ethical Condom

By: CircleUp Condoms are an $11 billion global industry according to researcher Key Note. Between 2007 and 2017 sales are projected to double in the U.S., reaching $1.8 billion. Currently three brands (Trojan, Lifestyles, and Durex) control 95% of this market and they do it without putting any emphasis on sustainability, fair trade practices, or processing ...

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On Valuation: “Beware the Post Money Trap”

 By: Albert Wenger  This post originally appeared on Albert Wenger’s blog and is being reprinted with his permission. Albert is a partner at Union Square Ventures (USV), a New York-based early stage VC firm focused on investing in disruptive networks. In the current valuation environment many entrepreneurs seem to believe that only two numbers matter in a financing: ...

Quinn Popcorn: How One Startup Launched and Thrived in the Country’s Largest Natural Foods Retailer

“We wanted to clean up snacks,” says Kristy Lewis, co-founder and CEO of Quinn Popcorn. Fed up with the secrecy and lack of regard for consumer health in the snack food industry, Kristy and her husband, Coulter, launched Quinn four years ago out of three Whole Foods stores in the Boston area. The popcorn industry ...