Becoming the big name in the organic produce market would have been unimaginable to Earthbound's founders, Drew and Myra Goodman, in 1984, when the then-recent college graduates decided to live temporarily on an untended farm in coastal California's Carmel Valley. Untrained in farming but resourceful, these transplanted city kids from New York turned their two-and-a-half-acre farm into a small organic supplier of raspberries, herbs, and baby lettuces, selling their produce at a roadside stand and to local chefs.

The eventual loss of their biggest buyer, combined with some creative thinking, prompted the Goodmans to start selling hand-labeled plastic bags filled with their fresh baby greens to local food stores. They realized busy people like themselves—especially those in cities across the country—would appreciate the ease and taste of premixed, prewashed bagged salads. And their idea took off. Almost 20 years later, the Goodmans' business is 200 farmers strong and produces 15 types of salads, plus 57 varieties of vegetables and 35 kinds of fruit. Including land owned by its large- and small-scale partners, Earthbound Farm grows its produce on 14,000 certified-organic acres, mostly in California and Arizona, the latter where Earthbound Farm grows and processes salad greens from December through February. All this hard work has paid off: Earthbound's produce is now available in more than two-thirds of all supermarkets in the United States.

—K.M.