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Surfing legend Laird Hamilton talks about his Sisters company going public

'The potential is limitless' -- and 'Sisters is a perfect environment'

SISTERS,OR (KTVZ) -- Laird Superfood was founded in 2015, and despite its founder being surfing legend Laird Hamilton, the company is based in Sisters.

It's something that catches quite a few by surprise, even some people who buy the products.

Wade Combs, manager of Oliver Lemon's in Sisters, said, "New people to the product, I think they are surprised when they find out it's made right here in Sisters."

The company's products include healthy superfood coffee creamers, protein powders and even some snack items.

Hamilton told NewsChannel 21 on Tuesday his vision was to bring healthy ingredients to everyone, no matter their economic standing.

"It's not just exclusive -- you don't have to be wealthy only to get it," he said. "The fact is, healthy food is expensive."

Hamilton said he chose Sisters and Central Oregon for the company's headquarters for a variety of reasons, including high taxes in Hawaii and California, where he lives -- not to mention, the employees seem to fit the company's objectives.

"Culturally, Sisters is a perfect environment," he said. "The people that move there -- they are outdoor people. They're into nature."

The company recently decided to go public. Hamilton explained one of his objectives for the move was to "protect the business from ultimately being taken over by private investors," as they would "ultimately (be) looking to get the product to a place, then sell it off -- sell the business."

Hamilton said he wants to give the business a chance to reach its full potential. As for what he hopes that is: "You know, if the idea is as big as I think it is, the potential is limitless."

As for the company's future in Sisters, it doesn't appear that will be changing any time soon, at least.

"it's the perfect place for us to be headquartered," Hamilton said, "until it's not -- and then, we don't know where that is. But right now, it's been very, very -- it's been fortunate to be there."

Business / Central Oregon / Sisters / Top Stories
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Blake Allen

Blake Allen is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Blake here.



  1. The article is about the company ‘going public’, but I’ll bet 90% of readers cannot explain what that means. Reporter should have included that. Simply put, it means that the company will no longer be owned by Laird and his personally connected investors. A pool of stock is issued and sold to the public, replacing privately held stock. So the new stockholders now have a say in how the business is run. There is much more to it than that. But, the biggest impact is now Laird will be a very rich man, which is entirely neglected in the article. So will be any of the company’s employees who owned privately held stock in the former company. But, it is just on paper, because they cannot cash in their replacement stock for a period of time, six months or a year. I had a good friend who was part of such a deal. He went from being a working guy to being a multimillionaire the day the company went public. Unfortunately, in the ensuing months, the value of the stock went down to where he only netted 5% of his original worth. Going public is no guarantee of future success. It is even possible (I’m not saying this is the case here) that the company is at its highest value right now, riding a wave of popularity (pun intended) and that it will go done drastically in the future. We can all name ten health food fads that have had that trajectory.

  2. First of all, Laird is an absolute legend in the surfing world.

    Second, the Central Oregon community is incredibly lucky to have Laird’s Superfoods headquartered here. They recognize the value and ‘Oregon’ in general pairs well with the natural foods branding.

    I actually saw Laird at Redmond airport on one of his work trips up here, great guy!

    1. Did you get him to sign your SUP paddle? Or maybe he could add a signature to your Gerry Lopez Patagonia wool socks?..oh wait….you actually are Laird Hamilton aren’t you?

  3. For Blake Allen to suggest Laird was hinting at leaving Sisters, Oregon, you are an absolute fool! He didn’t hint at anything like that. Were you even listening to what he said, guy?

    1. If you know anything about corporate policies, there is now no guarantee that they will stay in Sisters. If Laird wanted to guarantee that, he would not have gone public. If the company becomes much more successful, it would be inevitable that the production would re-locate to a place that has access to good transportation networks and large numbers of employes. There is a reason that Central Oregon is not a hotbed of large production facilities. We are a good place for customer service centers or tech innovation, that do not require warehousing and shipping infrastructure. Get your head out of the sand, and comment on something which you are knowledgeable about.

  4. “including high taxes in Hawaii and California”
    Don’t worry Laird. Salem is doing everything in their power to make sure Oregon taxes go up.

  5. I just read that this all happened almost six months ago. and that is ‘news’? least some accuracy in the reporting would have been appropriate.

  6. One other factoid: the stock is up in value nearly 150% since the IPO last Fall. That says that investors have a favorable view for LSF financial future.

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