Who: Tim Bryan of T. Bryan's World Famous Soups Inc.
Where: Shoreview, Minnesota
When: Started in 1997
Tim Bryan is not a soup aficionado. But he did have enough of a taste for it to realize his mother's soup actually tasted better after it had been frozen and reheated. Bryan set out to create a frozen soup that combined great taste with high-speed convenience.
Using his 20 years of marketing experience, Bryan pitched his idea to local grocers, who warned him that Campbell Soup Co. had tried to make a frozen soup but never succeeded. Bryan figured they just underestimated the power of convenience.
"Most food companies want to put [the product] into a big bag-the smaller you go, the less profitable it is," Bryan says. "But [smaller packaging] is what the consumer wants. Now that we know how to do individual [servings], the sky's the limit."
Today, Bryan, 43, sells seven varieties of microwaveable soups to local grocers and vendors and donates 5 percent of the company's profits to local charities.