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Making Great Kraut

Drew Anderson grew up working for his mother’s food stand at a local farmers market and enjoying homemade Cleveland sauerkraut, a specialty of the city’s Eastern European neighborhoods. As an adult, the CSU business graduate has combined his passion for the food industry and his love of good kraut into a highly successful business.

Anderson is the co-founder and president of Northeast Ohio-based gourmet sauerkraut maker Cleveland Kraut. The company was founded in 2013 and launched its retail line in 2015. Focused on producing all natural foods from locally sourced farms, the company currently sells seven varieties of sauerkraut, which are available in 3,500 stores in 40 states. The rapid growth of the company has earned significant national recognition, including a feature on the Tonight Show, as well as Anderson’s selection to Forbes Magazine’s 30 under 30 list in 2017.

In addition, he was honored with an Outstanding Young Alumnus Award at CSU’s 2019 Alumni Recognition program.

“Anderson elevates the humble dish of fermented cabbage by thinking beyond sauerkraut’s traditional caraway seasoning — and reaching instead for Indian spices, whiskey, dill and beets,” Forbes says in its profile.

“We are immensely proud of Drew for his continued leadership and vision to grow our company and bring fermented foods to America’s plate,” adds Cleveland Kraut co-founder Luke Visnic.

Anderson, who graduated with a bachelor of business administration in 2009, has continued to give back to CSU –- working with the Monte Ahuja College of Business’ mentoring program to help students learn about starting a business, working in the food service industry and what life is like after graduation.

“Drew has given generously of his time and really developed a rapport with his mentees,” notes Anne Nelson, assistant dean of undergraduate programs and student services in the College of Business. “His experience and talents have been a great benefit to our students and the College as a whole.”

Cleveland Kraut is projected to be a $5 million to $7 million business by the end of 2019, with sales increasing by as much as 500 percent. Its products, which include curry, whiskey dill and roasted garlic varieties of sauerkraut, are available at Whole Foods, Meijer and Sprouts Farmers Market stores nationwide, as well as at the Cleveland Kraut Haus at Progressive Field.

Also in this Issue...

Creating Community Through the Arts

Gina Vernaci had spent nearly four decades as a theater manager and administrator and was in the middle of a highly successful tenure at Cleveland’s Playhouse Square when a lunchtime walk changed her educational and professional path. Read more >>

Distinguished Alumni Awards

This year, 12 men and women who represent the life-changing impact of a CSU education were celebrated at the 29th Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony, sponsored by the Alumni Association and the University.  Read more >>

Community Roots

Sam McNulty, BA urban studies ’97, owns and operates very successful bar/restaurants in the Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland – ranging from a nano brewery where experimental beers are concocted to Market Garden Brewery, a full brewpub with close to 500 seats. His properties also include McNulty’s Bier Market, Bar Cento and Speakeasy. Read more >>

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