Charles Coristine | Searching for a Smarter Snack: How This Mindful Leader Created a LesserEvil

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Charles Coristine | Searching for a Smarter Snack: How This Mindful Leader Created a LesserEvil

Charles Coristine

Posted on August 13, 2019

Listen to the episode:

This episode of the donothing podcast truly has it all! Listen in as I chat with Charles Coristine, the President and CEO of LesserEvil Snacks, about how he turned around his once-struggling business, what he does to foster a positive, fun company culture, why meditation has become so integral to his life, and much more. 

However, before taking over LesserEvil—which makes popcorn, puffs and other treats using only clean ingredients—Charles was a finance executive at Morgan Stanley.

In 2011, he purchased LesserEvil Snacks when, after 18 years in the stressful finance world, he was looking for a serious lifestyle change. He chose to embrace the growing better-for-you snack industry and set out to build a company with an authentic, holistic message. 

LesserEvil now employs 75 people at its Danbury, Connecticut headquarters. Their snacks are available across the U.S. and Canada at retailers such as Whole Foods Market, Publix, Kroger, Amazon and Wegmans. 

Charles is also an avid meditator, fitness fanatic and family man. He’s always mindful about how he leads his life and his company. 

No matter what journey he’s on, you can be sure that he’ll bring the snacks.

In this week’s donothing podcast, you’ll learn:

  • What Charles’ daily meditation routine is like
  • Why Charles’ stressful finance job pushed him to start a meditation practice
  • What Charles’ experience was like as a high-performing government bond trader
  • How Charles jumped from finance to snack foods
  • What Gene Hackman and Mad Money’s Jim Cramer have to do with LesserEvil
  • Which serious problems Charles inherited from LesserEvil
  • What changes Charles made at LesserEvil to turn it around
  • Why quickly pivoting is essential to success
  • How a stranger came out of nowhere to solve a serious problem
  • What kind of culture Charles is committed to creating at LesserEnergy
  • How to make difficult work conversations more constructive and human 
  • Why listening is such an important leadership quality
  • What LesserEvil does to encourage employees to stay healthy
  • How company values play into every business decision
  • What the difference between different kinds of oils in food is
  • What Charles eats in his everyday life
  • Why Charles would like to someday go back to a vegetarian diet
  • How our eating habits can help the planet
  • What some of Charles’ favorite podcasts are
  • Which books Charles has been reading lately

Resources from Charles Coristine’s Episode

Listen to Charles’ Favorite Podcasts
Ram Dass: Be Here Now
The Joe Rogan Experience
How I Built This, with Guy Raz

Read Charles’ Book Recommendations
Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight
Good to Great, by Jim Collins
The Lean Startup, by Eric Ries


Connect With LesserEvil 






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