planet-smart blog

Bank matchmaking produces perfect partnership

Julie Corbett, founder and CEO of packaging company Ecologic Brands
Author : 
New Resource Bank

Sometimes the best way to grow a business is to find the perfect partner.

That’s why Peter Liu suggested that Julie Corbett, founder and CEO of packaging company Ecologic Brands, and Albert Straus, founder and president of Straus Family Creamery, get together.

“We don’t just make introductions,” says Liu, New Resource founder and vice chairman of the board. “We look to be strategic advisers for customers.”

Introduction pays off for both companies

Ecologic Brands makes beverage containers that have a much smaller environmental footprint than traditional containers. Liu saw a good match for the young company in longtime environmental steward Straus Family Creamery, which in 1994 became the first certified organic dairy west of the Mississippi River.

“We want to offer consumers better and more sustainable packaging choices, ones that the earth can live with,” Corbett says. 

After New Resource introduced the two companies they did a test run of Straus Family Creamery milk in Ecologic packaging at Whole Foods. It was a resounding success.

Now Straus is looking at offering both its traditional glass bottle and the Ecologic bottle—a thin plastic shell reinforced by recycled “OCC” (old cardboard containers).

Successful test prompts burst of interest

Not only has the Ecologic-Straus partnership been a success, but thanks to a write-up of the Whole Foods program in Packaging Digest, Ecologic Brands has received inquiries from a broad range of companies.

“Straus was our proof-of-concept partner,” says Cris Genovese, chief marketing officer at Ecologic Brands. “People wanted to see if consumers would buy it, and they did. We got 72 percent lift—[Straus] sold 72 percent more bottles  with the Ecologic Brand packaging.”

Corbett adds, “We’re a small startup so we had to pick one partner and really focus. We’ve had tremendous traction from our partnership with Straus—thanks to New Resource’s introduction.”

Genovese says Ecologic’s packaging could help reduce the environmental footprint of everything from liquid detergent to dry products to medical supplies.

Liu says the partnership is a prime example of New Resource’s work to connect clients with the partners they need. “The more you care about the people you match, the better the results,” he says. “Along the way, senior partner Martin Korman from Wilson Sonsini and execs at Whole Foods also joined the mix. Their helping hands made this a real community effort.”

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