Steve Demos ('70)

Steve Demos is the founder and former president of White Wave Inc., later known as WhiteWave Foods in 2004.  It is the largest producer and marketer of soymilk products in the U.S. WhiteWave products are sold in over 96% of the nation's supermarkets and the Silk brand is the number one revenue-producing soymilk in America.  Mr. Demos later sold White Wave to Dean Foods in 2002 for a reported $194M. Mr. Demos remained as president of WhiteWave Foods until March 2005.

The start of Mr. Demos' entrepreneurial career began after graduating in 1970 when he started a natural nut butter company called Naturally Nuts. He ran a retail vegetarian delicatessen called The Cow of China. He also started White Wave Tofu in 1977, which today has become the largest soy foods and soymilk company in the world. The tofu was made in Steve's apartment kitchen using $500 he borrowed from a neighbor to start the company. WhiteWave operated for the next 20 years, achieving sales of about $6 million in 1996.

Mr. Demos was awarded the Boulder Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur to Watch in 1977 and Entrepreneur of Distinction in 1996. WhiteWave was named Small Business of the Year in 1992 and Colorado recipient of the U.S. Small Business Administration Entrepreneurial Success 2001 award. In 2001, Inc. Magazine named WhiteWave to its list of the top 500 fastest- growing companies in America. Mr. Demos was inducted into the Boulder Business Hall of Fame in 2003.

Mr. Demos has been featured on the cover of The Wall Street Journal, as well as Forbes Small Business, Fortune, USA Today, CNN Financial News, and Success Magazine, as a leading innovator reflecting the American entrepreneurial spirit.

 

Published: 2008