Leonard Marsh, Last of the Snapple Founders, Dead at 80

Snapple co-founder Leonard Marsh

Leonard Marsh, a co-founder and former president and CEO of Snapple, passed away on Tuesday. He was 80, according to an obituary in the New York Times.

Mr. Marsh was the last of the three Snapple co-founders, along with Hyman Golden, who died in 2008, and Arnold Greenberg, who died last year. The three men were more than business partners: Marsh’s sister was married to Golden, while Greenberg had been a friend since their childhood in Brooklyn.

BevNET would not exist without Snapple: the company and its founders were among the first to understand the potential appeal of an all-natural, full-bodied product. Their story of going from a store-to-store fruit juice and natural food service to creating Snapple inspired — and later, in fact, employed — many of the people who now work in the business. It was the first company to create a national, independent distribution network — the key to finding a route to market that went around the traditional Red/Blue bottling houses — and its nimble IPO and later sale to Quaker Oats set the precedent for the acquisition of entrepreneurial beverage companies by larger strategic entities.

With so many entities and employees of the company now spread throughout the beverage industry — both in terms of sales and marketing and best practices — BevNET would like to send its condolences to those who counted him as a friend, relative, or co-worker, and welcomes comment on Snapple, memories of Mr. Marsh and his partners.