GotAgave Expert Profile: Craig Gerbore
- Craig Gerbore, Past Madhava Sweeteners President and CEO. He has over 35 years of experience in the natural foods industry. Craig and his team brought agave to the consumer market, popularizing its use as an alternative sweetener.
A lifelong passion for natural foods led Craig to Madhava shortly after earning his undergraduate degree. Hired at age 24 to run the company’s fledgling business operations, Craig became Madhava’s self-proclaimed “caretaker,” devoting his career to learning the business from the ground up. Under his guidance, Madhava developed into a successful, multi-million dollar enterprise and introduced agave syrup to the consumer market. This key decision, made by Craig and his team, brought the product and the company to national prominence.Craig retired from Madhava in 2010, but his passion for natural foods and natural sweeteners continues. Intimately acquainted with both honey and agave, Craig oversaw the production, packaging and distribution of Madhava’s premium quality honey products and has travelled extensively in Mexico meeting with and learning from agave farmers, processors and distributors.As a contributor to GotAgave, Craig is eager to share his personal and professional experiences with natural foods and his passion for natural sweeteners as a subject matter expert on agave.
Education and Background
Originally from the New York/New Jersey area Craig moved to Colorado in 1971 to attend college at the University of Colorado. He holds a degree in Business Management.
Dialog with Craig
I consider myself a public educator for those who want to learn about natural foods and specifically sweeteners. At Madhava, I took it upon myself to personally respond to emails from customers and critics, and believe me there were many! I always felt, and would always tell customers that I would never sell a product that I wouldn’t eat myself or put on the table at my house.
At Madhava, we served a wide range of companies and customers – big and small. My philosophy was, and continues to be no matter who you were, I would treat you the same. That means whether I was working with a Wal-Mart or a small independent shop, I always gave them the same level of service – my best.
I view the decision to introduce agave to consumers as testament to our customers. Being able to give customers healthy, delicious products at reasonable prices is important. While Madhava only markets honey produced in the US, in 2002, there were quality control issues from honey made in China that impacted the world market and, the price of domestic honey skyrocketed that fall. I got a call one day in the midst of the turmoil, from an agave producer’s rep asking if I wanted to find out more about it – so I said sure. I tried it and thought – this is really similar to honey, but with special qualities all its own, and we can provide it to our customers more economically. By November, we had agave on the shelves, and its popularity just took off!
Connect with Craig Gerbore!