Chobani Greek Yogurt, America’s #1 yogurt brand, announced at the Charlotte Chamber Board of Advisors meeting that it will locate its sales headquarters in Charlotte. The 5,200 square foot office will be located in the Charlotte Plaza building in Uptown Charlotte.
The company was born with an SBA loan, and in less than five years has grown into a $700 million business. The company, headquartered in New York’s Chenango County, was founded in 2005 by40-year old Hamdi Ulukaya, who was born and raised in Turkey. He launched Chobani in 2007 with the vice president of sales, Kyle O’Brien. The pair decided on the name Chobani after a three-hour, snowy drive to buy a piece of production equipment. Chobani means shepherd, a symbol of safety and good, in several Mediterranean languages. It now tops the booming Greek yogurt segment, which grew 200 percent last year, along with the larger yogurt category.
“Chobani’s decision to locate its sales headquarters in Charlotte is proof positive that businesses from all industries see the competitive advantage our city provides,” said Bob Morgan, Charlotte Chamber president. “We expect great things to come from Chobani, and applaud them for their rapid rise to one of the country’s most lucrative yogurt brands.”
Chobani currently has 17 employees in Charlotte. With the new sales headquarters and room to grow, the company anticipates accelerated hiring and to potentially reach 60 employees in Charlotte by the end of 2013. The average salary for the new positions is $70,000.