Alex Hanifin

At 28-years-old, Alex Hanifin is a rock star in the natural foods industry. Just two years ago she and her business partner pooled together $25,000—every cent they owned— to co-found Alpine Start Foods, a premium brand of instant coffee that has been something of an overnight success. The single serving instant coffee can already be found on the shelves of grocery stores including Whole Foods and sporting goods stores like REI. “This isn’t your grandma’s coffee,” the Boulder, Colorado native quips in describing the brand, which uses high quality beans and a special roasting process to produce gourmet flavors like Coconut Creamer and Dirty Chai Latte. Listen in as Alex, who didn’t get into a single college she applied to, shares the story of how she built her career simply by asking lots of questions, networking like crazy and, yeah you guessed it: breaking the rules.

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