Sunday, April 11, 2021

Greg Steltenpohl, Pioneer in Plant-Based Drinks, Dies at 66

“Steve encouraged him to think outside the box and see it as an opportunity for innovation and progressive thinking and not as a defeat,” said Eli Steltenpohl. “It certainly gave my father some much needed fire to pull.”

Odwala never fully recovered. With the company on the verge of bankruptcy, its founders were forced to sell controlling interest to private equity firms.

Coca-Cola Company acquired Odwalla in 2001 for $ 181 million Turn it off last year. In doing so, Coke cited a need for corporate capacity and a consumer preference for low-sugar drinks, although Mr. Stelinpel Told The Times in 2016 Coke had never maximized the brand’s potential.

“This is not what my father imagined for Odwala,” his son said. “But it made California’s success more sweet.”

In 2010, Mr. Steltenpohl was planning to start another juice company, but changed gears when he saw a wave of noodle milk choices made from nuts, coconut, oats, and soy. While he was recovering from his liver transplant surgery, the hospital gave him a protein drink; They found it so distasteful, He told the Times, He was inspired to do better, and he was soon churning out premium almond milk, ready-to-drink coffee and barista blends.

He named the new company for Queen California, a character in a 16th-century Spanish novel that became the soul of colonial California. After learning hard lessons from Odwala, he emphasized tight quality control, less sugar and more nutrition, and an independent ethos. As of 2017, California’s bottled coffee was No. 1 in the United States.

Greg Andrew Steltenpaul was born on 20 October 1954 in Homestead, Fla. His mother, Banita (Desjardins) Steltenpaul, was a culinary entrepreneur and cook. His father, Jerome, was a civil engineer who moved the family to Southern California in the 1950s, where he worked for defense contractors. Greg grew up in the San Bernardino area.

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