Daniel Humm's restaurant Eleven Madison Park was recognized in 2017 as the world's best, but was forced to shut down during the pandemic. When it reopens in June, it will generate a new buzz in gastronomy: this time by revamping its menu to be entirely plant-based.
While working at a farmers market in Chicago, Jennifer Martin had a Jack-in-the Beanstalk moment - a chance encounter with some tiny kernels, which wound up growing into a small giant of a business: Pipcorn, snacks made of heirloom corn.
Before Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice met, they shared a common belief: New York City gyms didn't have the kind of exercise classes they craved, and each of them wanted to change that. A fitness instructor introduced them over lunch in 2005, and before the meal was done they were set on opening a stationary bike studio, with a chic and aspirational vibe.
After moving from Bulgaria and pursuing physics in California, Vlad Tenev dove into the world of electronic trading with co-founder Baiju Bhatt after witnessing the frustration Americans had with Wall Street during the Occupy Wall Street protests. Together, they worked to increase the speed of electronic trading before founding Robinhood in 2013.
By 24, Amanda Hesser had landed a book deal and one of the most coveted jobs in journalism: writing about food for the New York Times. But over time she grew restless, and in 2008, gave up that dream job—and the stability that went with it—to become an entrepreneur.
As a product developer, Bob Monahan worked with some iconic brands: the Pump at Reebok, the Taurus and Mustang at Ford. When he moved on to work at a baby products company, he happened to discover another set of wheels that caught his eye: a sleek-looking stroller that could accommodate a car-seat or a bassinet.
In 2010, Justin McLeod was in business school, still trying to get over a bad breakup that had happened years before. Inspired by a sudden twist in his own love life, Justin designed Hinge as an app for finding meaningful relationships, with the tagline "designed to be deleted." Today, Hinge is owned by Match Group and is one of the most popular dating apps in the U.S.
Miguel and Veronica Garza grew up in Laredo, Texas, in the kind of family that did almost everything together. So when Veronica realized that a grain-free diet was helping her cope with debilitating health issues, the rest of the family—all six of them—adopted the same paleo-friendly diet. Soon Veronica was making her own almond flour tortillas at home and selling them at a CrossFit gym that the Garza family had launched in Laredo. The grain-free tortillas were a hit, and by 2016, Siete Family Foods products were being sold in Whole Foods Markets across the country.
Rick Steves started leading minibus tours and hosting a travel show on Public TV, steadily growing his business even though he was giving away most of his content. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, his no-frills approach to travel has persisted as a powerful brand, with 70 guidebooks, an ever-popular travel show, and—in 2019—an annual revenue of $100 million.