Entrepreneurs are often creative, daring people, and the businesses they operate are very important to communities.
Kristin Thompson owns Tuttie Fruities, a farm in Marine on Saint Croix, MN where she grows organic produce and juice. When she first started farming, she sold the organic produce she grew at farmers' markets in Minneapolis. She has now grown her farm and business to include juices that she makes from the produce she grows. She sells both her organic produce and organic juice through her farm CSA, Juice Catering and at the North East Minneapolis and Kingfield Farmers' Markets in Minneapolis.
Kristin believes her juices offer great nutrients to the community in a fun way. She names the juices after songs that are fun to dance to. Examples of these juice names include "Mi Gente" which is made from carrots, beets and celery, and "No Diggity" which is made from zucchini, beets, carrots, peppers and basil. In order to be a successful entrepreneur, Kristin must produce a product she believes in and make a profit. Her business is a reflection of her desire to take care of the earth and environment and for everyone to feel good!
Jeff Knott lives in Tracy, MN and owns Ideal Animal Nutrition. His company helps farmers provide quality feed to their pigs. In college, Jeff wanted to earn a degree that allowed him to work in agriculture. He realized that a degree in swine nutrition combined his interest in working with animals and his love of science and nutrition.
Healthy pigs decrease inputs (less medicine) and increase outputs (healthier, bigger pigs), so farmers can make more money (profit) on each pig they sell. Helping farmers provide quality feed to their pigs is important to Jeff. These pigs provide pork that feeds people in Minnesota and all over the world. Jeff loves being able to help these Minnesota pork farmers and families as an entrepreneur in agriculture.
Sunil Kumar owns and operates The Amazing Chickpea in St. Paul, MN. Sunil's oldest daughter loves peanut butter but many of her friends have nut allergies. Sunil grew up in India where he ate chickpeas with many meals. He knew that chickpeas, when roasted, have a very similar taste to peanuts. So Sunil developed a recipe and created The Amazing Chickpea butter spread that tastes like peanut butter but is nut free. He began selling The Amazing Chickpea at the Twin Cities farmers' markets. Customers were surprised at how similar The Amazing Chickpea tastes to peanut butter!
The Amazing Chickpea is now sold in grocery stores in the US and Canada. Many school cafeterias throughout Minnesota serve The Amazing Chickpea! Sunil has also created a chocolate flavor of The Amazing Chickpea, Choc-a-Chic, that tastes like popular hazelnut spreads but contains less sugar and fat, and it contains no nuts! Sunil loves being an entrepreneur. Sunil says "To be an entrepreneur you have to be willing to learn all the time and be a problem solver."