Transition time

| Print |  Email
Articles - September 2012
Monday, August 27, 2012

 

0912 TransitionTime 05
Above: The majority of Turtle Island's employees work in production. Athos and Tibbott plan to increase production manpower as the company grows. 
Below: Tibbott displays Tofurky's meatless sausages, which are made with outdoor grilling in mind. They are designed to cook so that they do not fall apart on the grill.
//Photos by Sierra Breshears
0912 TransitionTime 06

Athos is not worried about taking risks, but he does not want to endanger the financial health of the company either. To capitalize on the risks he takes, he plans to rely on his past experience as a scientist, where he has already learned to deal with defeat. He believes he knows how to structure product development so that the company can improve, even when things don’t work out. “You can actually learn something from that failure, and the next one has a better likelihood of success,” Athos says.

Turtle Island is expanding their frozen-food line, which will mean even more head-to-head battles with the Goliath food companies. Currently, Tofurky offers three types of frozen pizzas, which have met with quick success as the No. 2 brand of pizza in the natural food channel. The freezer section of a grocery store is often far larger and more competitive than the refrigerated section, where Turtle Island has already staked their claim. Athos is hoping their loyal customers will see the name and recognize the quality of the brand. “I’d like to think they’re going to follow us wherever we go with these new products,” he says.

Tibbott has considered selling before, and he credits Athos with keeping him interested and with helping the company move forward as an independent entity. With Tibbott’s marketable story tied tightly to the identity of the brand, Athos has focused his efforts on setting up a systemic internal structure with the staff and in the product- development chain to help sustain the company once the founder moves on. For now, they both share a competitiveness that keeps them motivated.

“I like the thought of taking on these big -name companies with billions of dollars of assets behind them and beating them at that game,” Athos says.

“Plus, it’s more fun to be David than Goliath,” adds Tibbott. “Who wants to be Goliath? There’s no fun in that.”

Matt Werbach is a journalist based in Hood River. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



 

More Articles

10 Oregon companies positioning themselves for growth

The Latest
Friday, March 13, 2015
vcthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Ten startups have secured venture capital, angel or seed funding in 2015.


Read more...

City announces plans for Portland summer-league baseball team

News
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
IMG 3888BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Baseball is returning to Portland and city officials are hoping economic opportunity comes with it.


Read more...

6 highlights from the Craft Brewers Conference

The Latest
Friday, April 17, 2015
thumbPHOTOS BY  JASON E. KAPLAN

The 32nd annual CBC attracted a record number of attendees (11,000)  to the Oregon Convention Center.


Read more...

VIDEO: The 2015 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon

The Latest
Friday, February 27, 2015

videothumbVIDEO: 2015 100 Best Companies to work for in Oregon


Read more...

Announcing the date of the 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon event

News
Friday, March 20, 2015
OBM-100-best-Green-logo-2015-250pxwBY OB STAFF

Join us to celebrate and network with Oregon’s best green workplaces!


Read more...

Photos from the 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon awards celebration

The Latest
Friday, February 27, 2015
IMG 9975cneditPHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Images from the 2015 celebration of Oregon's great workplaces.


Read more...

Emperor of the Sea

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD | Photos by Jason E. Kaplan

Pacific Seafood, one of the world’s largest processors, is rebranding as a more transparent and consumer-friendly operation. A controversial CEO and monopoly accusations from coastal fishermen complicate the tale.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS