November 10, 2022 by Sarah
Member Spotlight: Ben Ripple, Co-founder & CEO of Big Tree Farms
OSC: What is your hometown?
BR: West Hartford, CT
OSC: What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
BR: Since I was about 8 years old I wanted to be a farmer. Not a fireman or a famous athlete like most of the kids on my block, but a veggie farmer. When other kids were playing street hockey or kill the carrier (a less organized spin on football) I was most often found pulling decorative plants out of my mother’s garden to make room for some corn or tomatoes….My wife Blair thinks I’m a rabbit at heart.
OSC: What is it about the mission of your company that really ignites you?
BR: At the heart of what we’re doing at Big Tree is supporting and improving opportunities for marginalized farmers. I love working with our farmer partners; spending time at their homes and in their food forests. I love the land and everything that we do to steward the resource through our company model.
OSC: What’s a favorite childhood memory of food that you have?
BR: I think there are three that stick out most… I remember my first carrot from the soil (it was a chantenay) and I remember being thunderstruck at how amazing it was and how I wanted to learn how to grow and harvest food. I also have distinctly fond memories of my grandmother’s apple pies which she would bake for almost every family gathering…now I make those apple pies with our coconut sugar in the fall in VT!
BR: I’m not someone that carries much stress to bed but that’s not because there aren’t plenty of challenges that need navigating. Cashflow, inflationary impacts on demand and cogs, long term sustainability of the Indonesian coconut sector…
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