kindsnacks” I’ve learned you just gotta live what you love.”

A friend of mine tossed that little gem out yesterday.  It sounds like another trite rah rah small biz platitude but it carries a lot of weight.

Especially when you see a perfect example of it through Daniel Lubetsky and KIND Snacks.

The New York Times recently featured Lubetsky and KIND as an example of small business success.

Lubetsky is the founder of Peaceworks, the holding company and manufacturer of KIND Snacks.  Peaceworks is dedicated to “the pursuit of both profit and peace.”  From their corporate bio:

“We pursue profit through our sales of healthful food products that are produced by neighbors on opposing sides of political or armed conflicts, whose cooperative business ventures we facilitate.  We pursue peace through our Peaceworks Foundation and the OneVoice Movement.”

KIND Snacks is the product that Lubetsky envisioned in every Starbucks around the world five years ago.

And what kept him going and eventually got his foot in the door was his passion for peace and conflict resolution which he pursued through his foundation.

Of course since 2004 he had been speaking with Starbucks executives and sending them his snack bars and press releases.

That’s what everybody does at a bare minimum to break into giant distribution channels like a Starbucks or WalMart.

But it was in 2007 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland that Lubetsky got his break.

He was there to speak about his philanthropic work with Peaceworks when he ran into a Starbuck biz dev exec he had known earlier.

The exec offered to give him a tour of Starbucks headquarters and an introduction to the food and beverage chief.

The tour happened later that year but still another year went by with no commitment from Starbucks.

Lubetsky kept at it.

He saw an opportunity in 2008 when he spotted an article saying that Starbucks was rethinking their food strategy.

He forwarded his contacts a Yale Pilot Study that suggested eating two KIND bars a day could contribute to weight loss.

This time Starbucks responded with an order of 500,000 bars for its 7,000 stores in the US.

Five years from the start of KIND, and Dubetsky’s Big Hairy Audacious Goal was realized.

It sprung from passion, focus and determination.

And a love for the space he was operating in.

Business as a lifestyle.

Business as meaningful.

Business as something that comes from the heart.

Not a bad business to be in.