SBC's Pioneer in Sustainability Award Recipient
The criteria for selection of this award are that the business founder must serve as a role model and inspiration to other sustainable businesses. An additional criterion for receiving this award is that the founder is required to be available to accept the award in person and give a brief inspirational talk during the award ceremony.
Visionary, sustainability leader, health food advocate and cofounder of Follow Your Heart, Bob Goldberg did not picture
himself as an entrepreneur in the natural food industry in his early years. Chicago-born Goldberg attended Indiana University
in 1965 and met his soon-to-be business partner, Paul Lewin, at his fraternity where the two became fast friends.
After heading west, with a new outlook on life, Goldberg and Lewin both settled in Los Angeles, started following a vegetarian
lifestyle and became regular customers at Johnny Weismuller's American Natural Foods. Taking their ‘regular’ status to a new
level, they became employees and then eventually joined Michael Besancon and Spencer Windbiel as co-owners of the store. The team renamed the tiny vegetarian health food store and café “Follow Your Heart” to reflect their personal outlook on life as it was simply what they were doing at the time. Follow Your Heart soon became a base for socially and ethically responsible values, at a time when such ideals were not yet widely popular.
Now 45 years later, despite the emergence of health food giants across the nation, Goldberg and Lewin continue to operate the
industry-leading and award-winning neighborhood market and café, while remaining devoted to the same ideals on which they
first founded it. Sticking to the founders’ sustainable ethos, Follow Your Heart created Earth Island, to produce their own
signature products like vegan cheeses, dressings, dips and popular Vegenaise® (egg-free mayonnaise).
Today, Goldberg, a self-proclaimed nature and animal lover, resides in the Santa Susana Mountains with his wife Kathy. They
have three grown children, and enjoy hiking, gardening and birdwatching near the rural haven they call home.