Chobani’s Founder on Growing a Start-Up Without Outside Investors
by Hamdi Ulukaya
I’VE ALWAYS LOVED YOGURT—the thick kind I grew up eating in Turkey, where my mother made it from scratch on our family’s dairy farm. When I moved to the United States, in 1994, I found American yogurt to be disgusting—too sugary and watery. If I wanted yogurt, I usually made it myself at home. So when I came across a piece of junk mail advertising a fully equipped yogurt factory for sale, in March 2005, I was curious. The factory was about 65 miles west of the feta cheese company, Euphrates, that I’d started in upstate New York a few years earlier. In 2005 Euphrates had fewer than 40 employees and about $2 million in sales; it was barely breaking even.
Kraft owned ...