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Matt O’Hayer has carved out a niche in the more than $5 billion egg industry. When O’Hayer started his company, Vital Farms, in 2007, he committed to producing “pasture-raised” eggs—the accepted standard being 108 feet of space per hen. Back then, pasture-raised eggs represented less than 0.1% of the market. Now it’s 2.7%, and O’Hayer’s Austin-based Vital Farms has about 73% of that 2.7%. The company, which employs 110, hit sales of $100 million last year, up nearly a third from 2016. It has grown beyond Whole Foods and figured out how to get mainstream consumers—in chains like Amazon Fresh, Kroger, Walmart, and Target—to pay artisanal prices, as much as much as $8 a dozen.
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