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How a Turkish immigrant used a commodity product to create $10 Billion business

Why I love this story: Unfair advantage: A business built using knowledge, heritage and hustle to make it work Not Tech: There are so many ways to build and bootstrap Invest in People: Hire great people and giving back Pivot Smart:He took a risk but protected his downside

A turkish immigrant used a commodity product to turn a $800,000 SBA loan into $10 BILLION. This is an incredible story 👇🏽👇🏽👇🏽
2/Then one day, it was his turn. He was brought in and questioned for hours by authorities. Despite his pacifist approach, they sent a clear message. He realized it was time for a different life…
4/ 2 years later, his dad visited him in NY for the first time. Equally unimpressed with the quality of Feta cheeses he sampled. Hamdi’s dad had an idea: Start making great cheese with the old family recipe! Ulukaya quickly dismissed the idea. But he couldn’t shake it…
5/ By 2002, he launched Euphrates (you can still visit the website euphratescheese dot com!) He imported some cheese. Then started a small factory. He brought his family’s unique process to bear. The cheese tasted much better. But the business was hard…
6/ He slaved away, struggled to hire and most importantly: there wasn’t a ton of customer demand. No one seemed to notice or care about the flavor outside of a few greek restauranteurs.
7/ In 2005, he received a piece of junk mail announcing the sale of a 1920s yogurt and cheese factory owned by Kraft. He threw the flyer away, but within days was touring the factory located Between a biker bar and a cemetery on its last legs. This was a fire sale…
8/ One of his advisors called him a F*#($n’ idiot if he bought it. But the self described “dairy boy” was smitten. He was undeterred for 2 reasons…
9/ A) It was a good deal – Under $1M, everything worked. There were already employees in town. The machinery alone was worth more than the price! B) He hated American yogurt. Friends who would visit Turkey or Greece and return raving about the yogurt. He made the leap.
10/ He bet everything and received an $800k SBA loan to buy the factory. Then he realized…they were missing a strainer! Those cost $1M brand new. After months searching, he took the most important drive of his life to see a used one in Wisconsin for $50k…
12/ It took him 2 years to perfect the formula while also improving/renovating the factory. What mattered: consistency, flavor and design. Slightly sweeter than what you get in Turkey to align to American tastes, but still smooth and creamy. He made some big decisions:
13/ • Bright colored cups to save on marketing spend • Fruit on the bottom to match with US standards • Emphasis on high protein/low fat for health In 2007, he finally launched: Chobani Greek Yogurt. He made one decision v diff from Euphrates..
14/ he avoided the specialty stores. He went straight to the biggest grocers and even risked buying his way into the stores, but he didn’t offer cash. He offered more yogurt… and then…
16/ Today, according to the WSJ, Chobani is preparing to IPO at a $10 BILLION valuation. Hamdi is the sole shareholder.
17/ Ulukaya’s attributes his success to his principles: + Product first + Invest in employees and community + Sell big deals to grow big fast + Build what you know
19/ Why I love this story: Unfair advantage: A business built using knowledge, heritage and hustle to make it work Not Tech: There are so many ways to build and bootstrap Invest in People: Hire great people and giving back Pivot Smart:He took a risk but protected his downside
Hit that follow button ➡️@jspujji⬅️ For more stories about bootstrapped giants, dtc, growth marketing and more!

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