On our 5th talk event at 10 Cable St, we will be hearing from the Tofurky founder Seth Tibbott on how he started the business with just $2,500 and turned it into a multi-million dollar company.
Do you have a food brand/business? Thinking about starting one? or just love to hear a good story? This talk is for you!
As someone who's just entered the food industry, there are so many questions I want to ask like when do I scale up? HOW do I scale up? What about investment?? lucky for us, we will get to do just that after his talk!
Here's a little teaser of his story!
Seth Tibbott founded Turtle Island Foods, dba “The Tofurky Company” in 1980 on $2,500, his life savings from his 8-year career as a teacher/naturalist in the Portland, Oregon public schools. The company’s first product, tempeh (a fermented soybean cake from Indonesia), was made and delivered in small batches to fledgling natural food stores in Portland and the west coast.
The first 9 years in business were a financial struggle. America was not quite ready for tempeh yet and Seth’s take-home pay averaged $290 for those years. Living the dream but losing his shirt, Seth rented four trees in 1984 near the tempeh shop for $25.00 per month and built a 3-story tree house in which he lived for the next 7 years.
In 1995, the company’s fortunes changed with the introduction of the first Tofurky roasts at Thanksgiving.
500 roasts were sold that year throughout the Pacific Northwest but soon a larger, national market came calling.
Today, 38 years after it's founding, Tofurky is still a family-owned, independent enterprise and Seth is the company’s Chairman and stepson, Jaime Athos is now CEO, carrying the dream forward. Tofurky is a model of “slow growth” and is unique for never having any equity investment except for $17,000 from Seth’s brother Bob in 1989. Today, Tofurky products are sold in over 25,000 stores worldwide on 6 of 7 continents and are made in a new eco production plant built to LEED Platinum standards.
On the night
Doors open, mingle and eat a light dinner featuring Tofurky Tempeh.
(Please let us know of any food allergies)
Introduction to the evening.
Talk by Seth Tibbott of Tofurky, sharing his story of how he started the business and where it is now.
19:40 - 21:00
Q + A.
Ask him anything you like!
21:00 - 21:30