I had the honor of becoming friends with Justin years ago while living in Boulder. His story is a great one. From making nut butters out of his kitchen and selling them at the farmer’s market in 2002, to borrowing $70k from his roommate’s parents in 2006 to buy a squeeze pack machine, to being acquired by Hormel just a few months ago for $286 million. Although the financial success if impressive, what I find most inspiring, and why I wanted to write about Justin’s as an amazing company, is Justin’s passion about changing the world through food.
According to Justin, the food landscape has changed. It used to be that big guys (think Kellogg, Campbell's, General Mills, etc) would buy smaller natural brands but then turn them in to something different. Acquiring companies have started to realize that they are losing credibility with the consumer and essentially destroying what they paid for. Justin sites Campbell's as an example of the change. In January, Campbell's announced their decision to support mandatory national labeling of products containing GMO's.
Justin’s dream is that companies will source better ingredients, buy from sustainable sources and use recycled materials. He firmly believes if consumers demand better products, companies will make them.
Justin’s has a 3- part company mission:
1. Feed people.
2. Pollinators- Help find a solution to the bee colony collapse.
3. Waste- Get people thinking of recycling as repurposing.
In true Justin fashion, he hopes that some day Justin’s is replaced by some young entrepreneur who has figured out something better…. like how to make raw sprouted nut butters!