“Providing hope never tasted so good”. – Don Larson, founder and CEO of Sunshine Nut Company
I am always inspired by the amazing people out there who are making the world a better place and giving back. Meet Don Larson, founder and CEO of Sunshine Nut Company, a cashew company that is harnessing the food industry to create lasting economic transformation in Mozambique. In 2011, Larson and his family left a 25-year high-level career in the food industry to launch Sunshine Nut Company with the belief that a food company can be the catalyst for lasting economic transformation in some of the poorest countries in the world.
When Larson and his family left the comforts of their home in the US to set off on a new adventure in Mozambique, many thought he was a little nuts. However, in the past six years Larson has done amazing things to help the community in Mozambique and change the world, one package of nuts at a time.
Sunshine Nut Company grows, roasts and packages cashews in Matola, Mozambique where they operate a world-class cashew factory and are able to go from tree to package in just three weeks. Thirty years ago, cashews were one of Mozambique’s top cash makers however almost two decades of civil war and poor economic conditions nearly destroyed the once lucrative industry. Larson found this as an opportunity to not only bring back the cashew industry but create lasting sustainable change by empowering the local community.
Sunshine Nut Company directly employs over 50 people at their factory, hiring primarily adult orphans and promoting from within. 90% of their distributed profits are reinvested back into the community: 30% to orphan care, 30% to farming communities, and 30% to replicate the business model elsewhere. Now in over 3,000 stores across the US, Sunshine Nut Company hopes that when you purchase their cashews, you taste the difference in the freshness and quality, and find hope in knowing that you are making a difference in the lives of the poor and orphaned in Mozambique.
I had the opportunity to interview Don and here is what he has to say about the mission behind Sunshine Nut Company and what his visions for the future are.