Turkish immigrant stumbles upon a dilapidated yogurt plant Kraft wanted to unload. The rest is a story of the American Dream coming true !!!
fm USA Today 17 June 13 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
“Small Business is the key to job creation in America. It is the engine for growth. So with the economy bouncing along the bottom, with only 2% growth, I turned to one small-business owner who started with nothing, but created a billion-dollar Fortune 500 business, while creating thousands of jobs. He happens to be an immigrant who experienced the American dream. Hamdi Ulukaya came to America from Turkey with just a few thousand dollars in his pocket. He stumbled across an abandoned dilapidated yogurt plant that Kraft was looking to sell. And today, Chobani Yogurt is the leading yogurt brand in the world. It is a case study on what is possible in America. Our interview follows, edited for clarity and length.” Maria Bartiromo, CNBC
Q: What can you tell us about the Environment & Business today? A: We’re growing about 50% this year again, which is huge for a company our size. We had very big growth in the early years, and the plant that we built in Idaho was helpful, because before, we made all of our growth from our one plant in upstate New York. We badly needed another plant. We are close to 3,000 people now. We are taking advantage of the “coolness” of the Greek Yogurt culture. And we have a duty to make sure that the consumer knows what to expect from Greek yogurt.
Q: Yours is an amazing expansion story over the last 5 years. And that first plant was the plant you stumbled over and acquired to begin the business. How did you do it?A: We had the right product. And we had it in the right place. And I think we had the right approach, which was making a delicious, nutritious, natural and accessible product. But what happened was I saw this ad for a Yogurt Plant for sale. It was in my junk mail pile and I threw it into the garbage can. And then about half an hour later, with the dirt on it, I picked it up from the garbage can and I called out of curiosity.
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