Pete Slosberg

Not many entrepreneurs are able to turn a hobby into a multi-million dollar business, but one who did it was a guy named Pete Slosberg. In 1986 he and a partner set up Pete’s Brewing COmpany, and created a craft beer they called Pete’s Wicked Ale.

It became hugely popular and soon Slosberg was putting his knowledge of rocket science to work brewing the beer.

They also had a mascot for Pete’s wicked ale. And, as you’ll hear in a moment, that mascot eventually touched off a legal battle with Anheuser-Busch.

I met Pete in 1998, when he wrote a book about his entrepreneurial experience. So here now, from 1998, Pete Slosberg.

Pete’s Brewing Company was acquired by The Gambrinus Company, which discontinued the Pete’s Wicked Ale brand in 2011, citing declining sales.

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Ina Garten

Do you ever watch the Food Network? If so, you know who Ina Garten is.

But long before she became the channel’s most popular host, Garten worked in the White House, in the Office of Management and Budget.

That is, until the opportunity to buy a small rspecialty food store in New York’s Hamptons opened up. She kept the store’s name, Barefoot Contessa, and grew it very successfully.

When I met Ina Garten in 1999, she had finally been persuaded to write a cookbook, which turned out to be far, far more popular than even her publisher had hoped.

And three years after the interview you’re about to hear, garden joined the food Network, or her show was a fan favorite for nearly 20 years.

So , from the spring of 1999, Ina Garten.

Ina Garten is 75 now, and yes, still cooking, entertaining, and writing. Cookbooks.

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Jenny Craig

Jenny and Sid Craig

You know the name Jenny Craig. It’s a popular weight loss, weight management and nutrition company with hundreds of locations all over the world.

It’s named, of course, for its founder Jenny Craig. At the age of 51 she and her husband Sid co-founded what is today known as Jenny Craig Inc. They started with locations in Australia, and established a U.S. presence in 1985.

I met Jenny Craig in 1992, when she was promoting one of her books about weight loss and lifestyle management.

So here now, from 1992, Jenny Craig.

Jenny Craig will be 90 in August. Jenny Craig Inc has over 700 worldwide locations.

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Wally Amos

What would you do if a big corporation took over the company you built, then told you you had no more right to use your own name to sell the product you invented?

Welcome to Wally Amos’s world.

The founder of Famous Amos Cookies eventually lost the company. And then he lost the right to use his own name to sell cookies.

But the Florida native with the irrepressible sense of humor and enthusiasm turn the situation around. Eventually.

He wrote about it in a 1994 book that he called Man With No Name.

So here now, from 1994, Wally ‘Famous’ Amos.

Wally Amos is 85 now. He lives in Columbia, South Carolina, where he works on Aunt Della’s Cookies.

Anita Roddick

In 1976 a British business woman started a small business to sell skin and hair care products.

But she also wanted it to reflect her ethics and values, including human rights, animal rights, and the environment.

Anita Roddick called her business The Body Shop.

Today The Body Shop has over 3,000 stores in 65 countries. But it is still loyal to Anita Roddick’s ethics and values.

In 2001 Roddick wrote a book called Business As Unusual, a look back at the sometimes-turbulent ‘90s for The Body Shop.

So here now from 2001, Anita Roddick.

Anita Roddick died in 2007. She was 64.

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Al Neuharth

Photo: John Mathew Smith

Do you have to be kind of an SOB to be a success?

What kind of connotation does that term even have anymore?

Those were two of the key questions that Al Neuharth tried to address in his bestselling memoir “Confessions Of An S.O.B.”

Al Neuharth was the founder of USA Today, as well as The Freedom Forum, and the Newseum. So apparently being an SOB helped him.

So here now, from 1990, Al Neuharth:

Al Neuharth died in 2013, at the age of 89.

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Howard Schultz

Photo: Gage Skidmore

When three guys from San Francisco started Starbucks 50 years ago, in 1971, they probably had little idea of what the future would bring for their little coffee bean business.

By 1986 there were still only six Starbucks locations. But in 1987, they sold the company to Howard Schultz. And under his leadershipp, Starbucks grew to 46 stores by 1989, and in1992 the company went public,

Howard Schultz was CEO of Starbucks from 1986 to 2000, and again from 2008 to 2017.

In 1997, Schultz wrote a book called “Pour Your Heart Into It,” and that’s when I met him.

Now, a couple of times in this interview, you will hear us refer to “the tragedy in Georgetown.” Just weeks before this interview, there was a vicious crime at a Starbucks in the Georgetown section of Washington DC, in which 3 store employees were murdered.

So here now, from 1997, Howard Schultz…

Today Starbucks has over 32-thousand stories in over 80 countries.

Howard Schultz will be 68 in July. He and his family live in Seattle.

Ruth Handler

Raise your hand if you had a Barbie Doll, or Hot Wheels, when you were a kid.

Or how about a Chatty Cathy, or a See-and-Say?

Bu perhaps no toy of the 20th century in America was more iconic, more popular, and more widely known than the ubiquitous Barbie doll.

Ruth Handler was the key figure in bringing all of those to market, as the co-founder of Mattel Toys.

She told her story, and Mattel’s, in a 1994 book. That’s when I met her. So here now, from 1994, Ruth Handler:

Ruth Handler died in 2002 at the age of 85.

Ivana Trump

She was Donald Trump’s first wife, from 1977 to 1992. Ivana Trump is the mother of Don Jr, Ivanka, and Eric Trump.

Ivana Trump has also been a professional athlete, a designer, and a novelist. And that’s how I met her in 1993, the year after she and The Donald divorced. She had just published the second in what was to be a series of novels, about a beautiful Czech immigrant named Katrinka.

While we do not even mention the name Donald Trump in this interview, if you know their backstory, you can kind of read between the lines.

So here now, from 1993, talking about her new novel, Ivana Trump:

Ivana Trump is 72 now.

Paul Orfalea

Tomorrow, November 17th, is National Entrepreneurs Day. And perhaps no one better embodies what the day is about that Paul Orfalea.

Back in 1970, the young man with e kinky red hair started a small business, making photocopies for students at UC Santa Barbara.

The business took off, and before long Orfalea — known to his friends as Kinko — was a successful entrepreneur.

But Paul Orfalea’s story is all the more remarkable when you understand that all his life, he has dealt with dyslexia and ADHD. Wait’ll you hear what experts told his parents that he would end up doing for a living.

I met him in 2005, years after he had parted ways with the company he founded, and had become a teacher.

So here now, from 2005, Paul Orfalea.

Paul Orfalea will be 73 later this month.
He is a philanthropist and a visiting professor at California Lutheran University’s School of Management.