Greg Steltenpohl, Pioneer in Plant-Based Drinks, Dies at 67

“Steve inspired him to imagine outside the house the box and to glimpse at the instant as a single of an possibility for innovation and progressive considering and not as a defeat,” Eli Steltenpohl explained. “That undoubtedly gave my father some required fireplace to pull by means of.”

Odwalla under no circumstances thoroughly recovered. With the organization on the verge of personal bankruptcy, its founders ended up pressured to market a controlling fascination to non-public fairness corporations.

The Coca-Cola Company obtained Odwalla in 2001 for $181 million, then shut it down final 12 months. In performing so, Coke cited a need to have for corporate efficiencies and a purchaser preference for considerably less sugary drinks, although Mr. Steltenpohl told The Times in 2016 that Coke had never ever maximized the probable of the model.

“This is not what my dad envisioned for Odwalla,” his son said. “But that made the achievements of Califia that a lot sweeter.”

In 2010, Mr. Steltenpohl was scheduling to commence a different juice firm, but he switched gears when he noticed the coming wave of nondairy milk possibilities produced from nuts, coconut, oats and soy. Even though he was recovering from his liver transplant surgical procedures, the healthcare facility gave him a protein consume he identified it so distasteful, he instructed The Periods, that he was inspired to do superior, and he was soon churning out high quality almond milk, completely ready-to-consume coffees and barista blends.

He named the new enterprise for Queen Califia, a character in a 16th-century Spanish novel who turned the spirit of colonial California. Acquiring uncovered tough classes from Odwalla, he insisted on limited top quality handle, fewer sugar and much more nourishment, and on trying to keep an unbiased ethos. By 2017, Califia’s bottled coffee was No. 1 in the United States.

Greg Andrew Steltenpohl was born on Oct. 20, 1954, in Homestead, Fla. His mother, Benita (Desjardins) Steltenpohl, was a culinary entrepreneur and chef. His father, Jerome, was a civil engineer who moved the loved ones in the 1950s to Southern California, where he labored for defense contractors. Greg grew up in the San Bernardino region.