Tuesday, December 8, 2009

VIVO Natural Products

(Post: English)
"As an intern with the private equity firm Roll International, which owns Fiji Water and POM Wonderful, Michael Talve learned his way around the market for natural products."

A senior at Babson in 2006, he saw a business opportunity in soap of the same quality as the organic food and beverages that shoppers at places like Whole Foods (WFMI) snap up.

"Our stuff is really made of food-grade ingredients," Talve says.

He sources those ingredients from around the globe, including the shea butter he buys from a group of women entrepreneurs in Togo.

VIVO's five varieties of bar soap, produced at a contract manufacturing plant in North Carolina, sell at about 200 retailers, including Whole Foods.

Talve, who now has four employees, left his job with Roll at the end of 2008 to run VIVO full time.

Bootstrapped and profitable, VIVO's revenue was under $100,000 in 2008 and Talve projects more than $500,000 this year.

The Company: VIVO Natural Products
What It Does: Soap vendor
Founder: Michael Talve, 24
Based: New York

Source: BusinessWeek

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