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It was a cold December day in 1982 when Paul Newman prepared his first serious batch of salad dressing inside a derelict barn. His mission was to bottle enough dressing for his family to distribute around the neighbourhood as homemade Christmas gifts.
Paul already had a reputation as a salad dressing connoisseur among friends. When dining out, he would always request ingredients from the chef to make his own dressing, much to the bemusement of fellow diners. His passion wasn’t simply about taste, it was also about using the finest ingredients.
But, we digress. Back to that now infamous day when it all began: Paul filled an old washtub with olive oil, vinegar and pepper and stirred it endlessly with what looked suspiciously like a broken canoe paddle. When the bottles were ceremoniously filled for delivery, a sizable quantity of dressing was left over. Paul thought to bottle the rest, hustle them into some upscale local food stores to make a few bucks – and go fishing.
Not long into the New Year the neighbours’ supply ran low, and they came knocking – no, pounding – on the door, demanding more. An accommodating guy, Paul acquiesced. The business flourished beyond expectation and, as demand increased, Paul decided to donate profits to worthy causes.
Today our salad dressings and other products are best sellers around the world with 100% of the after-tax profits of Newman’s Own and Paul Newman’s Own going to charity. Thousands of charities around the world have received funding from Paul Newman and Newman’s Own Foundation with over US $500 million given worldwide including AUS $24 million going to Australian and New Zealand charities.