Vermont Venture Network Meeting – Ron and Arnie Koss, Co-Authors for The Earth’s Best Story
When: May 27, 2010
8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
(formerly Wyndham Hotel)
60 Battery Street
Ron and Arnie Koss founded Earth’s Best Baby Food in 1985. In addition to baby food, Ron Koss is a natural foods product innovator. During his long-term employ with the aio Food Group, Ron has secured patents for his work on complete meal supplement ice cream and has also introduced specialized complete meal supplements for people in health recovery situations. Presently, he is working on nutritional products for a global relief aid project. Ron enjoys working as a consultant for socially responsible enterprises and has a special interest in group dynamics, organizational development, and conflict resolution. He lives in Montpelier, Vermont, with his family.
Arnie Koss honed his business skills by founding and operating a number of small entrepreneurial companies in Vermont. He was actively involved in the development of organic certification standards, which eventually led to the Organic Foods Act of 1990. Arnie has served as a consultant to several prominent natural products companies and is presently the Managing Partner at aio Food Group, a Hawaii-based product development company that has created patented nutritional supplement products and also owns the Punalu’u Bakeshop and Visitor Center on the Big Island of Hawaii. He lives in Kula, Hawaii, with his family
Recently, they have authored a book called “The Earth’s Best Story.” The book tells how Ron and Arnie Koss succeeded in creating the first nationally distributed organic foods company to sit next to its mainstream competition on supermarket shelves—a step that revolutionized and empowered the organic-foods movement as a whole—and benefited hundreds of farmers as well as the millions of babies whose very first foods have been organically grown, thanks to Earth’s Best.
The Koss brothers had been sprout growers, broommakers, tool restorers, butlers, and natural-foods clerks, yet raised millions of dollars to start the first organic baby food company in the United States. How unlikely was that? The Earth’s Best Story is a bittersweet tale about the founding of Earth’s Best Baby Foods twentyfive years ago. Told through the dual narrative of each brother, this is not a business tome, although it is rich in entrepreneurial lessons and know-how. Rather, it’s more like a “how to,” “how not to,” and “how they did it” memoir. It’s personal, it’s intense, it’s inspirational, and it’s full of reflections and tales of wonder and woe.