Most college seniors spend their final semesters on campus partying and celebrating their remaining days of freedom before the real world hits them. But Mark Ramadan and Scott Norton were a bit different.
The Brown University grads used their last semester of college in 2008 to experiment with ketchup. That's right, ketchup. The two friends, who both studied economics, bonded over their love of food and were both perplexed by and inspired by the lack of choice in the condiment aisle.
"When you walk down any aisle in the grocery store, you're totally overwhelmed by choice in everything," Ramadan said. "There are a million different cereals and yogurts and salsas. But there's one area of the store—ketchup—that hasn't changed in 50 years."
So they did something about it and launched natural condiment brand Sir Kensington's, which has raised $8.5 million in funding to date from individual investors and Verlinvest, a private equity group headquartered in Brussels. Today the company's condiments are sold in 5,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada and online.