Alice Waters was a budding foodie with no business experience when she borrowed money from her father to open Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif. It took eight years and some help from an angel investor for the restaurant to reach profitability, but since then, Chez Panisse has helped bring locally sourced, organic food into the mainstream. To keep key employees motivated through the years, Waters has given away shares of the restaurant, retaining just one-eighth for herself.

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