Ron Koss, author of The Earth's Best Story
Connect with Amy Miller
August 4, 2010
Ron Koss, author of ‘The Earth’s Best Story: A Bittersweet Tale of Twin Brothers Who Sparked an Organic Revolution’, joined Connect. Ron told his story of creating the first organic food, baby food, to sit beside mainstream competitors on the nation’s supermarket shelves. He discussed the importance of being passionate and persistent about your ideas. And how those ideas may change the world.
Visit the Connect with Amy Miller Blog.
Listen to the interview.
Barry J. Moltz Podcast
July 23, 2010
"My next guest was Ron Koss, who founded (with my twin brother Arnie) of Earth’s Best Baby Foods and the co-author (with Arnie) of “The Earth’s Best Story.” We talked about:
1. Why take on the big companies with organic baby foods.
2. Why you need to be a Mutt Entrepreneur.
3. What it’s like to work with your identical twin.
4. How not to become the Master of Dilution."
Listen to the podcast.
Beyond 50 Radio Show
June 25, 2010
For Beyond 50's "Eco-Friendly & Sustainable Practices" talks, listen to an interview with Ron Koss. He will talk about his bittersweet tale of sparking an organic revolution through the baby food company, Earth's Best, that was founded with his twin brother. It's a recount of their transition from eking out livings as sprout growers and broom makers to being the first organic food to sit beside mainstream competitors on the nation's supermarket shelves. Their story is personal, intense and inspirational! Visit www.Beyond50Radio.com and sign up for our free e-newsletter.
Listen to the interview here.
Ron Koss & Arnie Koss: The Earth's Best Story
Blog Business World
Saturday, April 17, 2010
What led to the creation of idea of an organic baby food company?
Ron and Arnie Koss: In 1973 Arnie and I were traveling throughout California. We were fresh out of college at the time, both having dropped out. As East Coasters, the West Coast was a marvel to us. But amidst the massive redwoods and the dramatic coastal highway that we loved exploring was a vast agricultural reality overrun by aerial pesticide spraying and tractor spray rigs. It was sickening and disheartening to us.
Rachel Carson's book, Silent Spring (published in 1962), had deeply affected us. We didn't want the spring to be silent and Arnie and I left California wondering what we could possibly do to counter this malevolent and misguided pesticide paradigm.
Our answer, envisioned in an inspiring moment in 1976, was the founding of Earth's Best Baby Foods. Arnie and I began developing it in 1984 and three years later in 1987 we produced the first jars in our own 11,000 sq. ft manufacturing facility. ― Ron
How did you arrive at the company name Earth's Best?
Ron and Arnie Koss: The name "Earth's Best" was presented to us by a Burlington graphic designer working on our first label concepts. Ron and I instantly bonded with the name because it succinctly stated what our ambition was—to create the "earth's best" baby food. It could not have been simpler or more accurate.
However, like so many things we did not anticipate, many of our potential early supporters and investors strongly objected to the name "Earth's Best." It "sounds like a dirt company" was a common theme of the dissenters. "It's hard to pronounce" was another. The pressure was on to find another name, but Ron and I knew we were starting the Earth's Best baby food company and held our ground.
Today, it seems so obvious that Earth's Best is a great name, but 25 years ago we had to battle for it. ― Arnie
What were some of the challenges you faced in the initial start-up phase?
Ron and Arnie Koss: From day one, Ron and I faced start-up challenges that came from every conceivable direction, like giant crushing waves, one after the next, after the next. Most notably, we were grossly undercapitalized within a matter of seconds. Why? Multiple equipment breakdowns and failures unexpectedly depleted our meager cash reserves. Quality control issues delayed our production for almost two months and skewered our cash flow projections. Unexpected organic ingredient shortages forced us to transport tons of apples from California to Vermont blowing again what we thought was our clever and conservative budget. Distributors and retailers pocketed introductory discounts that resulted in disastrously high retail price points.
You get the picture. There was not a moment of grace or ease. The Earth's Best start-up was an intense survival moment, "to be or not to be." Ron and I had no choice but to try to adapt to our volatile start-up environment like highly evolved chameleons. ― Arnie
Read the whole article here.