Our team was recently at an event that brought together innovators in food from all over the world. Events like these are welcome opportunities for entrepreneurs to pick their head up out of the weeds of the day-to-day and share the BIG vision for their company with the world.
As the co-founder of a mission driven company that is working to create positive change in the seafood industry, I am inspired and encouraged to see other entrepreneurs who have chosen to focus on the why. Entrepreneurs who, like us, set off to build their businesses with a very clear mission in mind. Through all of the trials and tribulations that they have surely faced, the mission has remained at the core of their decision-making process, and they are growing some really incredible organizations.
It’s people like these, and passion like theirs, that has built the great brands of our time. Here are the 5 brands, their amazing founders, and their authentic stories that inspire us to keep striving towards our mission of protecting the oceans by promoting stewardship and supporting fishermen doing great work:
1. Kuli Kuli, Lisa Curtis.
While working in the Peace Corps in Niger, Lisa discovered superfood moringa. Lisa founded Kuli Kuli to help women in West Africa use more moringa locally and earn a sustainable livelihood by selling a portion of each harvest to the US. In 2015, Kuli Kuli announced an initiative with Whole Foods Market, the Clinton Foundation’s Haiti Program, and the Smallholder Farmers Alliance to plant hundreds of moringa trees in Haiti and sell a Moringa Green Energy Shot made with Haitian moringa. Lisa’s positive energy is absolutely infectious and the impact Kuli Kuli has on communities around the world will keep us supporting them for years to come.
Read their mission here.
2. Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard.
Founded by an avid outdoorsman who epitomizes the minimalist lifestyle, YC is an incredible example of an entrepreneur driven to do great things for the planet. Today Patagonia leads the charge on what it means to be socially and environmentally responsible. A little more than a decade ago, in an effort to motivate more businesses to give back to the environment, Yvon Chiounard co-founded 1% for the Planet, a global movement of more than 1200 member companies in 48 countries, all donating at least 1% of annual sales to sustainability initiatives.
Read their mission here.
3. Epic Bar, Taylor Collins and Katie Forrest.
Their love of extreme sport and taking their physical game to the next level set them on a search for conveniently packaged, nutrient dense animal protein for traveling, exercising, and working. Finding nothing to fit their exact needs, the pair launched a totally innovative product that would disrupt an industry in three short years. Not only did they develop an completely disruptive product with a cult following, they committed to having a positive impact. Through their business, they have worked to convert ranchers to a pasture based livestock model, and have been able to create financial incentives to help change American agriculture.
Read their philosophy here.
4. Bureo, Ben Kneppers, David Stover, Kevin J. Ahearn.
A group of guys after our own, ocean loving hearts, we were fortunate to meet co-founder David Stover last November and hear the story of this awesome company first-hand. Bureo’s innovative skate boards are manufactured in Chile through the team’s initiative, ‘Net Positiva’, Chile’s first ever fishnet collection & recycling program. Net Positiva provides fishermen with environmentally sound disposal points, while Bureo receives highly recyclable and durable raw materials. By offering recycled high quality products, Bureo enables ethically conscious consumers to support recycling development and job growth for local inhabitants.
Check out their mission here.
5. Chapul, Pat Crowley.
With an eye towards global food security and an appetite for adventure, Pat Crowley commercialized the first cricket flour based products in the States and launched a (bug based) food revolution. Pat is the ultimate authentic entrepreneur who saw an opportunity to create change in the world and leapt, effectively creating a new market. A 1% for the Planet company, not only does Chapul have a positive impact on our food system by nature of their sourcing, they also give every year to support environmental causes.
Find their mission here.