Founder & CEO Holmes Made Foods LLC
At the age of 15, Shaker Heights native Ethan Holmes launched Holmes Made Foods LLC with his grandfather’s applesauce recipe and ambitious dreams of entrepreneurial success. From humble origins in his family’s kitchen – acquiring raw materials as Christmas gifts – Holmes built his brand of all-natural applesauce through sweat equity and persistence. Over the past 8+ years, Holmes has diligently grown his operations and distribution by leveraging his personal network, pitching his product at every opportunity, and listening to the advice of business mentors. Along the way, Holmes and his company have won a number of entrepreneur pitch competitions, earning capital infusions to fuel business growth. Today, Holmes Mouthwatering Apple Sauce is available in more than 200 retail locations in Ohio and Illinois, including Acme Fresh Market, Giant Eagle, Heinen’s, Lucky’s Market, Marc’s, Target, Whole Foods, Zagara’s and more. Looking to the future, Holmes has his sights set on national and international markets for his products.
Beyond the inspiring entrepreneurial story of Ethan Holmes and Holmes Made Foods, the foundation was impressed with Holmes’ dedication to serving the greater good through his business. In 2015, Holmes created the Young Entrepreneur Initiative, giving local students an opportunity to learn about small business operations and earn a wage by working in the production and sale of Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce. Holmes also works as a small business advisor through Cleveland State University’s Small Business Development Center, providing free advising services to local businesses.
As operations expand, Holmes remains committed to hiring from the community, with a focus on providing employment to disadvantaged populations as much as possible. Holmes is also committed to promoting healthy and delicious food products for children and families, and donates 10% of profits to fight childhood obesity and promote better nutrition. Holmes’ product is one of the healthiest applesauce brands on the market, with just 3 simple ingredients and no added sugar or artificial ingredients. Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce is naturally gluten-free and vegan.