Stonyfield Farm president
and CEO Gary Hirshberg
discusses company strategy
with a close associate.
At first, they simply seemed to be exchanging
one money loser for another.
“At the end of my first day with Samuel, I calculated that we were $75,000 in the hole,” says Hirshberg. “On one side of the desk was a pile of bills, and
on the other there was not a single check. Not a
nickel. I had to figure out a way to get through that.”
“We were working 24 hours a day, seven days a
week, and losing money,” says Kaymen, who retired
from the business six years ago. “Everything was
inefficient and wrong, held together with spit and
At the same time, they both felt they were on to
something, and neither was willing to admit defeat.
“Gary had a natural talent for business, and we
were on the same page of values,” says Kaymen.
“Samuel and I were ideal partners, because we
were both fanatical about quality and pathologically
optimistic,” agrees Hirshberg. “And also because we
had a real healthy respect for what each other knew
and didn’t know.
“Samuel was the yogurt guy. He was the creator
of the culture and the recipe. But he knew absolutely
nothing about financing, accounting, managing
people or marketing. That’s where I could help.”
PHOTOS COURTESY STONYFIELD FARM
They dug in. And they realized that, to pull off the
success, they couldn’t just make yogurt. They had to
create a unique company, one that embodied their
beliefs, blending the focus on business with the focus
on the environment.“We both understood that
without it we were just like everybody else, in which
case we were dead,” says Hirshberg. “We couldn’t
beat the big guys with dollars or industrial prowess.”
They needed a mission. Which brings us back to
“Before I came to Stonyfield, when I was running the New Alchemy Institute, we developed this
amazing technology,” says Hirshberg. “We had solar
enclosed environments that were extremely productive, using no fossil fuels, no pesticides, no fertilizers,
no chemicals at all. We could feed 10 people three
meals a day, 365 days a year, in a space about the
size of this office. We had National Science
Foundation funding. Prime ministers and heads
of state would come see it. About 25,000 people
a year visited us.”
And then Hirshberg visited Disney’s Epcot
Center in Florida. There, a Kraft-funded building called the Land Pavilion was showing how
food would be grown in the future.
“As you can imagine, their view of how
food would be grown was a little different than
mine,” he says dryly. “But the most poignant
TWO NAMES. Six cultures.
More than a year and a
half in the making.
Costco and Stonyfield
Farm have teamed up to
produce the Kirkland
Signature™ by Stonyfield
Farm Organic Smoothie
for Costco members.
Here’s a quick look at what
makes it so good for you.
The six cultures found
in this organic smoothie,
as opposed to the two
or three in most yogurts,
elevate it to a health food
of the first order.
thermophilus make milk
L. reuteri is proprietary
to Stonyfield in the United
States and is clinically
proven to inhibit the
growth and activity of
harmful bacteria. This
culture boosts the body’s
immune system, enhancing the body’s resistance
to gastrointestinal disease.
L. casei enhances the
immune system by inhibiting the growth of diarrhea-producing organisms,
alleviates constipation and
suppresses disease producing microorganisms.
L. acidophilus provides
various health benefits to
the gastrointestinal tract.
Several studies indicate
that it can help lower cholesterol by interfering