The making of Earth's Best: an excerpt
Published: April 25, 2010
In 1984, Arnie Koss was handcrafting Shaker-style brooms in his Vermont farmhouse and selling them at craft fairs all over New England. His twin brother, Ron, was the director of the Ronald McDonald House in Burlington. Both brothers, then 33, had wandered through a long series of jobs and start-up businesses: house parent at a group home, sprout grower, math teacher, tool restorer.
They were again restless and looking for their next big thing.
In their recent book, "The Earth's Best Story: A Bittersweet Tale of Twin Brothers Who Sparked an Organic Revolution," the brothers take turns telling how they turned that restless drive and a big idea into a company that revolutionized an industry and helped cement Vermont's reputation as a leader in "green" business.
Here is an excerpt from Ron's narrative in Part Two: The Earth's Best Start-up Begins:
Arnie drove into the Ronald McDonald House parking lot on September 16, 1984. I remember his fire-engine-red broomcornmobile van. It was a beautiful day, late in the afternoon. I wasn't expecting to see him, and he didn't waste any time getting down to business. "I've decided to do the baby-food business. We've talked about it for years. It's still a great idea. No one else has done it. Why not us? I'm doing it with you or without you."
In an instant I was at a decision point about starting a baby-food company. Give me a break! I wanted change, and yet I felt my heels digging in. The enormity of the commitment was thankfully an abstraction, but the responsibility of making baby food was not. I immediately connected with my fear of that responsibility (which somehow I knew would be mine), and the weight of that burden isolated the wind that was filling my brother's sails from my own.
Arnie's determination and enthusiasm was a done deal. He had leapt, but I had to wrestle with this deep-seated fear before I could join him. I wasn't sure if that was possible. He left the parking lot, and I was left in turmoil.
Read the rest of the excerpt here.