San Francisco Alumni Club Monthly Spotlight: Organic Meets Good
The San Francisco Alumni Club’s monthly spotlight on alumni businesses continues. Check back and read about more Babson startups! The following post is from Christa Ferguson M’15 of Parrot Foods.
Founder: Roni Gloger, CEO (34), M’13
Industry: Food industry
What you sell: Organic super foods, grains, seeds, nuts and other organic ingredients
Your value proposition: To import, distribute and commercialize the finest organic ingredients and do it with as few degrees of separation to the grower as possible.
Company Headquarters: Los Angeles, CA
2014 Revenue: $1.6 M
Number of Employees: 5
Year Founded: 2010
Your first job: I have always been an entrepreneur. I studied Business Administration in Chile and since graduating in 2004 I have had my own companies.
Source of startup capital: I received a loan back in Chile to cover production costs. Since then we have grown without external funds.
Why did you start this business: I started it after I found a huge potential in a wild berry that grows in the south of Chile called Maqui berry.
Toughest part about being an entrepreneur: If you are a well prepared and smart individual that is willing to take risks and learn from your mistakes I’m sure that sooner or later you will succeed as an entrepreneur. Now, persevering when you know the short-term benefits might be a lot greater being an employee is the hardest part in my opinion.
Key business goals yet to achieve: To feel I have built a strong team, with a culture that represents me and where I can see the impact of the company in the life of the employees. To sell $10M per year.
To buy a building for the company (within the next year)
To expand to other regions/countries
To professionalize the company until the point it doesn’t need me to succeed
To sell it and move back to Chile (and start a new company there…)
Whom do you most admire and why: My grandfather Saul. He was a Holocaust survivor, lived more than 90 years and was able to overcome an infinite number of things to have a good life, always having a smile on his face.
Company you most admire and why: The organic food CPG industry has plenty of companies with amazing stories and entrepreneurs and it has been great to see growth and success of several of them in the 5 years I have been working in this industry. I admire companies that have managed to succeed in a way that truly reflects the values and life style of their founders. Examples are Guayaki Yerba Mate and Sambazon but if I have to mention one I would say Kind Bars.
What do you do for fun: I’m part of a soccer team; go to the movies often, BBQs with friends, going to the beach and camping with my family.
Favorite place to eat: Living in LA gives the possibility to find restaurants from all over the world so I love to travel through food and find places from rare countries.
What is the last book you read: Good to Great (audible)
Most influential person at Babson: Len Schlesinger, I was really impressed by his ability to speak in public.
Favorite Babson memory: I studied while having two companies and I had my second daughter while I was studying so it wasn’t easy. My favorite moment is definitely celebrating that my mission was accomplished.