Ever heard the story behind the Cool-Pak, the oft-used plastic containers that keep our fruits and veggies fresh?
Well, it’s definitely a cool invention. The story behind this subtle innovation starts in Ireland, in the 1800s, when Niall Kelly’s in-laws-to-be came to California. After a successful turn in the Gold Rush, they took up farming in Southern California.
In time, the family moved into the packing end of the fruit and vegetable business. In fact, originally, they made those little green baskets that you often see at farmers’ markets, filled with berries or cherry tomatoes. But by the 1990s, the packing business wasn’t going so well.
Niall had started his first business while he was still in college, and was focused on his career in tech when he received – the call. And when his father-in-law called and asked him to help with the business, into the family he went. There was work non-stop in the beginning, but that work paid off.
Today, if you’re bringing home strawberries or blueberries, mushrooms or tomatoes, cut fruit or spring salad mix – you might well be bringing your groceries home in Cool-Paks. (About one BILLION times a year, somebody is.)