Screen legend Paul Newman built his Newman's Own food product company into a national brand and became Hollywood's answer to the Rockefellers, donating all his company's after-tax profits to charities.
Soon after, his daughter Nell and her business partner, Peter Meehan, launched Newman's Own Organics. To Meehan, the company's CEO, the subsequent move into organic petfoods was pure business logic. "We're always looking for new opportunities to extend the brand," he says. "Pets are very important to people, and it just made sense."
To Nell Newman, it presented an opportunity to earmark the royalties she paid to her father under the Newman's Own licensing arrangement for specific charities and causes. Her slogan: "Supporting animals not as fortunate as your own."
Nearly US$110,000 of company earnings went to animal sanctuaries and humane and rescue shelters in the first year of the operation, with more than US$300,000 donated to date. Recipients are listed at www.newmansownorganics.com/pet/charity/index.php.
Newman's Own Organics overall has generated more than US$6 million to causes and charities. That's a long way from the US$220 million Paul Newman's philanthropic enterprise has spread, but still a strong step. Newman's Own Organics also helps fund the Organic Farm Research Institute in Santa Cruz, California, USA.
Headquarters: Aptos, California, USA.Officers: Nell Newman, co-founder and president: product development and marketing; Peter Meehan, co-founder and CEO: sales and marketing, new product opportunities.Annual sales: US$1 million for dog treats in 2005; total sales undisclosed.Websites:www.newmansownorganics.com and www.newmansownorganics.com/pet/home/index.php.