Top Ten Heroes of the American Economy
#7. Chobani: 1,083 jobs created
CEO: Hamdi Ulukaya
Founded on a whim in 2005 when Turkish immigrant Hamdi Ulukaya bought an aging Kraft yogurt plant that was in the process of being shut down, Chobani has grown to become the top selling yogurt in the United States with $634 million in revenue in 2011 and more than 1,200 employees. The company has been a boon for the local farmers and community in upstate New York where Chobani is based. Speaking to Inc. earlier this year, Ulukaya said, “I don't believe that any business has the opportunity to go forward without paying attention to its surroundings. From the beginning we tried to be a part of the community rather than take it over."