John Foraker is the Co-Founder and CEO of Once Upon a Farm, a leading children's nutrition brand driving industry change through their commitment to organic, clean, nutritious, and delicious products. Prior to the brand, John spent more than 30 years in the natural and organic food industry running businesses with a sharp focus on sustainability and social responsibility. John was the longtime leader of Annie’s, Inc., a leading natural & organic food brand, in the US from 1999 to 2017. As CEO of Annie’s, he took the company public in 2012 under the symbol BNNY before General Mills acquired the business in 2014 for $820 million. For the following three years, John ran the Annie’s operating unit and also advised General Mills’ small business incubator 301, Inc. He was recognized as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® 2015 in Northern California. Foraker received a B.S. in agricultural economics from UC Davis and an MBA from UC Berkeley.
Episode #1611 John Foraker: Purpose as an Invitation to do More
“You can’t assume that you’ve got all the time in the world to make the impact you want. You’ve got to make it happen now.”
A pioneer of the organic food movement, John Foraker is widely respected for his leadership of Annie’s, where he led their $820 million acquisition. Yet, once you sit down with him, you quickly learn that more than an industry leader, John is a devoted father striving to create a world where all children have the nutrition they need to thrive; A mission he continues to advance as Co-founder and CEO of Once Upon a Farm.
We explore John’s perspective that purpose is an invitation to do more and that even when our contributions feel small, change happens through sustained action. Our responsibility is to begin and keep trying.
John’s goal is to be better every day. He shares his favorite philosophy that the truth will set you free, the epiphany that led him to stop worrying, and how he grows from failure. This equanimity is driven by a desire to be present and live his values. We hear how he follows his heart making decisions, maintains a sense of urgency around his priorities, and the lessons he’s learned from fatherhood.