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The History of Chobani Yogurt

Hamdi Ulukaya was born into a Kurdish sheepherding family in eastern Turkey. After being questioned by Turkish authorities over his involvement in Kurdish rights groups, he emigrated to America at the age of 22. His father visited him and was dismayed by the underwhelming feta cheese selection in the United States. He encouraged his son to go into business, prompting Ulukaya to start his first company, Euphrates. He imported and sold his family's cheeses and later also manufactured his own from cow's milk in a small factory in upstate New York. One day, he received a piece of “junk mail” advertising a large factory for sale. Owned by Kraft, it was still being operated by a crew of 55 employees but was on the verge of being decommissioned. Ulukaya decided to switch his focus and purchased the factory. From there, he and his crew of employees, whom he kept on, began the Chobani yogurt brand. Over the years, the company grew and is now one of the largest yogurt brands in America, producing Greek-style yogurt in many different flavors.

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