Cameron Healy is the Founder of The Healy Foundation, an organization that awards grants and scholarships to support the community, environment, and youth in Oregon and Hawaii. He is also the Co-founder of Kona Brewing Company and the original visionary behind the KETTLE® Chips empire.

Cameron launched his first business when he was only 21 years old with a company rooted in the natural food movement. Since then, Cameron has built and scaled many successful businesses. He attributes much of his entrepreneurial success to the lessons he learned from his father and the strong communities around him.


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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Cameron Healy shares how The Healy Foundation grew out of a Celtic music festival
  • Cameron describes his childhood in Oregon and the valuable lessons he learned from his father
  • What was it like to be a part of the ‘60s and ‘70s counterculture scene?
  • How Cameron started his first business behind a natural food store that belonged to author Ken Kesey’s family
  • Cameron’s early involvement with the natural food movement
  • What inspired Cameron to create KETTLE® Chips, and what mistakes did he make early on?
  • How Cameron expanded his business into Europe using word-of-mouth marketing
  • Why Cameron decided to step back from Kettle Foods and focus on a new business venture: Kona Brewing Company
  • The genesis of Kona Brewing Company and how Cameron scaled it into a multimillion-dollar business
  • What are Cameron’s favorite natural snacks?
  • How The Healy Foundation has worked to combat food scarcity and domestic abuse during the pandemic

In this episode…

Running a successful business takes hard work, a strong spirit, and the courage to take risks. However, you can’t do it all on your own. Being surrounded by a supportive community can make a huge difference in your business’ success and longevity. So, how can you give back to the community that has made this success possible?

For Cameron Healy, community has always been an essential part of his personal and professional life. Without strong support and close relationships, he wouldn’t have been able to get his first business off the ground or expand his KETTLE® Chips empire to an international market. Because of this, Cameron created The Healy Foundation: an organization that gives back to the community, environment, and youth throughout Oregon and Hawaii.

On this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast, Dr. Jeremy Weisz sits down with Cameron Healy, Founder of The Healy Foundation, to talk about chips, beer, business, and giving back to the community. Cameron describes how the natural food movement inspired him to start KETTLE® Chips, why he created his community-centric foundation, and his experience growing a small brewpub into a multimillion-dollar company. Stay tuned for more.

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Episode Transcript

Intro 0:15

You are listening to Inspired Insider with your host, Dr. Jeremy Weisz.

Jeremy Weisz 0:22

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here, founder of InspiredInsider.com where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders and I will introduce, formally introduce Cameron Healy in a second. But Cameron, I like to point out some past episodes that people should check out and I love having the brands and the people who have created things I love. Okay, and you’re one of those people by the way, and you know, creating Kona Brewing Company and KETTLE® Chips and but some of the past ones, we have a mutual friend Holly Lyman, the founder of Wild Tonic. And if you’re watching the video, like she’s got these beautiful, beautiful bottles. And yeah, I mean, I went into a grocery store, especially store I bought it, it sticks out to you because his you know her from the glassblowing days, like, Wow, that is amazing. And I tried it and it’s even more amazing. And I snapped a shot of it. And I emailed them. I’m like, I would love to have you on my podcast. I’m a huge fan of your kombucha. And I’ve had the founders of Big League Chew. Rob Nelson, he is super interesting story about being just in the bullpen of a minor league team and coming up with he didn’t want to chew tobacco. And, you know, he wanted some kind of healthier alternative. And he came up with shredded gum, you know, and Bram from Lekkco he’s got this healthier version of Nutella that he came up with. So just some really cool brands and, and Cameron will take us to the Genesis, back to the genesis of creation, which he said before which I love that. But before I introduce Cameron, this episode is brought to you by Rise25 and Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships. We do that by helping you run your podcast. And you know, for me Cameron, the number one thing in my life is relationships. And I’m always looking at a way to give to my best relationships, profile them shout from the rooftops what they’re working on what they’re doing. And I’ve seen no better way over the past over a decade to have people on my podcast in let people know what they’re doing and what they’re working on. So if you’ve thought about creating a podcast out there, you should. If you have questions, you can go to Rise25.com and email us. Today’s guest is Cameron Healy, who founded Kona Brewing Company and KETTLE® Chips, yes, the KETTLE® Chips, the delicious KETTLE® Chips that we know and love. And he also runs The Healy Foundation, which is after his parents, and I’m going to have you know, Cameron talk about his parents a little bit and their journey. But Cameron, thanks for joining me.

Cameron Healy 3:09

Thank you. Thank you, Dr. Jeremy. It’s an honor to be here.

Jeremy Weisz 3:12

So tell me a little bit more. I want to start almost in reverse for a second and talk about The Healy Foundation.

Cameron Healy 3:20

Okay. Yeah, The Healy Foundation is really in a lie in a lot of ways is sort of, sort of my endgame, I suppose without, without having, you know, when I started, it wasn’t necessarily mean that but it was started about 1996. And it was really, to me, it was a 501c three was created to put on a Celtic music festival that I organized with some friends in Oregon, outside of Oregon, it was a three day camping thing. And I was sort of in a mode of re embracing my Celtic roots and my family roots, which are very Irish. And I thought the, my father had recently passed away and I thought it’d be a nice way to remember him and raise some money for battered and abused women and children. Which was a cause that he he favored. And so did that and had a fabulous show. The only problem was in early September of that year of 96. We picked a weekend. That was statistically the least rainfall. And of course it rained three inches that weekend. And it was a camping you could camp there and and it was in a state park and it was a little bit like a mini Woodstock where

Jeremy Weisz 4:53

that’s all I was saying. It’s a modern day Woodstock, right

Cameron Healy 4:56

people were in mud and those that did come huddled together and Just a great, great experience. Our headliner, Ashley MacIsaac from Canada was going to be our headliner. I think we had 20 some Celtic music groups and individuals, he got busted for pot at the US border. So he couldn’t show up. So shift people around, but we lost a little bit of money, but we still put some money into the, into the cause the next year, we actually made made some money, the sun did shine. But I decided that doing outdoor events to raise money in the nonprofit world probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do in Oregon. And to be consistent, I’ve been involved in a outdoor event in Hawaii, for 25 years, it actually has been very successful. But the difference is, you’re in Hawaii, and the sun is usually shiny, shiny here in Kona. But the 99 I hired an executive director, friend of mine to really create a plan and, and it was really around youth. Youth, the environment and community was our, our mission. And I’ve been funding the foundation ever since sort of progressively, as I built businesses, and sold them I’ve donated shares before selling and funded an endowment, which has grown over the years. And you know that endowment today represents about 50% of my estate. And when I pass away, essentially, all of the balance will go into the foundation. So it’s meant to be a perpetual Foundation, we have a small team, Executive Director, second executive director and our original one retired, but still a board member. And so we’ve got got a younger younger crew of program directors in their 40s. And to carry it on into the future. Our our geographical focus is state of Oregon, in the State of Hawaii, doing doing that work. And those are two places that I live. And I split my time between the two. And I love both environments. And so it’s great, a great opportunity to make a difference and have an impact in these places.