TURNING PASSION INTO WEALTH - TOM’S SHOES’ BLAKE MYCOSKIE AND FRONTERA FOODS’ RICK BAYLESS EXPLAIN HOW THEY FOLLOWED THEIR DREAMS TO FORTUNE ON CNBC’s "
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., March 27, 2009 - A pleasure trip to Argentina sparks a brilliant fashion idea that spawns a charitable foundation; an aficionado of Mexico's diverse culinary offerings creates a multi-million dollar company that enables him to share the love. CNBC's "The Entrepreneurs" hosted by CNBC's Donny Deutsch premieres Thursday, April 2, at 9 PM ET and 1 AM ET presents the stories, from start-up to success, of these two businessmen who turn their respective passions into wealth.
Successful businessman Blake Mycoskie gained a television following when he appeared on the reality show "The Amazing Race," but his profile and wealth really grew as a result of his company Tom's (short for tomorrow's) Shoes. On a visit to Argentina Mycoskie discovered hoards of children who couldn't afford shoes as well as inexpensive-to-produce local footwear called the Alpargata. He found a way to create a profitable international fashion business with celebrity appeal, and give away one pair of shoes for each one sold. To date, Tom's Shoes have given away more than 115,000 pairs to needy children.
Rick Bayless was a graduate student of linguistic anthropology studying in Mexico when he fell in love with the country's diverse cuisine and flavors. After an extended stay in the country, he opened the highly successful Frontera Grill in Chicago, which, in turn, attracted prospective business partner Manuel Valdes. The Frontera Foods company was then founded, but given its atypical flavors, needed a boost that was gained through a national TV series "Mexico, One Plate at a Time." With a hit TV show, six best-selling cookbooks and two popular restaurants, Bayless created a $30 million-a-year food empire thanks to his love of Mexican cuisine.
"The Entrepreneurs" repeats on Sunday, April 5th at 10 PM ET and Friday, April 10th at 1PM ET.
Additional information on this edition of "The Entrepreneurs" is available on cnbc.com. Among the features are slide shows and previews of the Tom's Shoes and Frontera Foods segments. Web extras include a Blake Mycoskie interview about building a brand, a feature on the band Hanson (who connected with Mycoskie to lend support), an interview with Bayless on finding his business partner and a feature on Bayless explaining the distinction between the many types of oregano.
Charles Schaeffer is Executive Producer of "The Entrepreneurs." Sharon Barrett Executive Producer for Kurtis Productions; Tania Lindsay is the producer for Kurtis Productions.
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