How Sunshine Nut Company is Transforming Lives in Mozambique

“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.

Gifts that Give Back SOCIAL GOOD
Love your Melon hats

Gifts that Give Back to and for Children

My Gifts that Give Back Gift Guide has been the most viewed post on my blog for over a year straight which says a lot since I have been blogging for almost six years and have well over 1,000 posts. It has become so popular that I created a permanent page on my blog of Gifts that Give Back and am updating it all the time with new, inspiring organizations.

The wonderful news is that business is booming for these organizations and I am utterly blessed that I have played a small role in helping give back. From buying a handmade scarf that helps send a girl to school in India or a candle made by Syrian refugees, there is so much you can do to help out.

Even better is that Gifts that Give Back don’t have to be only for adults. There are also several wonderful gifts that give back to and for children. Without further ado, here is a list of some of the best gifts for children that help other children around the world.

Gifts that Give Back SOCIAL GOOD

Gifts that Give Back: b.a.r.e soaps

I am always looking for inspiring social good enterprises to feature on my blog. This past month, I had the opportunity to speak with Jessie Yoh, Co-Founder and CEO of b.a.r.e. soaps, an all natural, socially conscious soap and candle company that helps women and children in Uganda and India. b.a.r.e. stands for “bringing antiseptic resources to everyone” and was built on the idea that something as simple as a bar of soap can effectively help prevent the spread of diseases and illnesses while improving overall health and hygiene.

b.a.r.e soaps was inspired by Jessie’s friend Clare Li’s mission trips to Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Uganda where she witnessed the desperate need for basic health necessities. After every mission trip, Clare returned energized to make a difference but was never sure how. The idea behind b.a.r.e. soaps didn’t arise until August 2012 when Clare was in Uganda, and brainstormed an idea to make her own soap and use proceeds to invest in developing communities that lacked basic sanitation.

b.a.r.e. soaps

b.a.r.e. soaps

After Clare returned to the US, she pitched her good friend Jessie her idea. Jessie, a business major, hopped on board immediately. Upon further research, the pair realized that there was a problem also at home. The soap we typically buy from our local grocer or drugstore isn’t really soap. In actuality, it’s made with synthetic and artificial compounds. Thus, a two-fold mission for b.a.r.e. soaps began: First, to educate and provide an all-natural product for those at home, and second to create a sustainable sanitation program for the children in Kaberamaido, Uganda. While working full-time, the pair launched the business in September 2013 and have been changing lives ever since.

Here is their inspiring story. 

b.a.r.e. soaps

b.a.r.e. soaps

Gifts that Give Back SOCIAL GOOD