Dave Arnsdorf

Forty Under 40 Winner 2015: Co-founder and managing partner, Pomme Natural Markets, 38

Many sons might reflect on time spent with their fathers doing things found in a Norman Rockwell painting, like fishing or playing catch.

But Dave Arnsdorf’s fondest memories of growing up with his dad come from the two of them thumbing through the finance sections of various newspapers and the discussions that ensued.

“[Those moments] definitely set me on my career path,” said the co-founder and managing partner at Pomme Natural Markets.

Before launching the organic grocery chain in 2013, Arnsdorf cut his teeth as an entrepreneur co-founding the Neverblue marketing company in Victoria.

The tech startup was bootstrapped from the beginning, and the 38-year-old helped build it to more than 100 employees and $50 million in revenue over four years. It still has offices operating in B.C., Hong Kong, London and Los Angeles.

“It’s been almost a decade since my partners and I sold Neverblue [in 2008] and the company is still strong and vibrant,” Arnsdorf said, adding that many of the employees he hired are still working for the company today.

“Large competitors, small competitors – virtually every one of them from that era is gone.”

After selling Neverblue, he continued working in the tech sector as both an investor and an adviser to other companies before launching Pomme Natural Markets at a time he and his business partners were all raising young families.

“My wife had gestational diabetes during both of her pregnancies at this time, so that forced us to take a look at our eating habits,” Arnsdorf recalled.

When the opportunity to invest in Pomme came along, he had already been deep in research about how bodies can be affected by food. He trusted the products Pomme would be selling, and the company seemed to be a natural fit.

“I love what we’re doing right now because I think we’re making a difference in our world.”

Birthplace: Victoria, B.C.

Where you live now: Victoria, B.C.

Highest level of education: Bachelor of science, economics

Currently reading: The Metronome Effect by Shannon Susko, The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

Currently listening to: Babel by Mumford & Sons

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Rocket scientist working at NASA

Profession you would most like to try: Astronaut or stay-at-home dad

Toughest business or professional decision: Deciding to buy out my business partners and take sole ownership of our real estate investment business

Advice you would give the younger you: Just do it. Perfection is the enemy of progress and execution trumps perfect analysis

What’s left to do: Everything



Join us to celebrate the 2015 Forty under under 40 Awards January 27, 2016 at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel. For tickets and event info visit www.biv.com/events/40under40.