Meet the Maker: The Ugly Company

Meet the Maker: The Ugly Company

I love the story of The Ugly Company and how they combat food waste by upcycling blemished (ugly) fruit into wonderful snacks. Enjoy their story below and then shop Ugly here.

David Rendahl, Made in California

The Ugly Company:

Ben Moore founder of the Ugly Company

"Hello! I’m Ugly. My name is Ben Moore. I’m a 4th generation farmer from Kingsburg, CA. Over the years, my family and I have farmed everything from stone-fruit, wine grapes, raisins, almonds and olives. We farm both conventionally and organically. I’ve witnessed hundreds of thousands of tons of perfectly edible fruit thrown out at, and around our farm, over the years. Growing up, I always thought fruit getting thrown out because it’s ugly was normal. I’ve backpacked and traveled across quite a bit of the world, and I came to realize...the amount of produce we throw out, in the United States, for aesthetic reasons is 100% not normal.

Blemished (ugly) fruit dumped into field.

The light bulb went off and I felt called to action during the summer of 2017. There was a hurricane in Houston, TX. Then another hurricane shortly after in Puerto Rico. I watched the news and read the reports that people were starving. There wasn’t enough food to go around in Puerto Rico. Just that week, I personally dumped out over 300 tons of edible fruit. So, I decided to sell my trucks and equipment, and I set out to become part of the solution to an issue that I believe can be solved.

I founded the Ugly Company turning ugly fruit into healthy snacks. Ugly fruit is all the fruit that gets tossed out because it isn’t worth selling at any given time. The fruit that we cut, dry and package into snacks is either misshapen, bruised, too small or too big, and sometimes it is perfect grade 1 fruit...all things that make a piece of fruit be labeled as "ugly" and deemed not worth selling fresh.

This is our Ugly solution. EAT UGLY."

Made in California is inspired by Ben and we are proud to stock products from The Ugly Company. Shop Ugly in the Snacks & Sweets collection