What they did: In 2001, Jim Goldberg, now 41, launched Deep River Snacks from his Old Lyme, Conn., attic. He reckoned there was a good audience for an all-natural alternative to the not-so-natural fare dominating the supermarket shelves. He now produces 17 flavors, including Multigrain Nacho Kick Tortilla Chips. His formula: create unique flavors -- Sweet Maui Onion kettle-cooked potato chips is another example -- and partner with large food and beverage distributors to elbow his way onto supermarket shelves. Picky about the type of dye used in the packaging? No problem. Deep River can tell you its components. After a decade in business, so far so good. Goldberg says the 15-person business is profitable and had sales of $7 million last year.
It takes something special to run young companies, and these players have it. They may not be corporate, but they're all major-league talents.
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