Business

Carl Sanders: Lifelong Entrepreneur

Sanders is using his keen business sense and entrepreneurial spirit to fund new companies.

Erin Stewart Aug 16, 2012

Entrepreneurship has been second nature to Carl Sanders ever since he was a 14-year-old boy running his family’s 60-acre farm in Firth, Idaho. Even then, the teenage Sanders was striking business deals with local seed and fertilizer distributors to keep the farm afloat.

“That’s always been intriguing for me — to figure out how to make things work,” says Sanders, a resident of Shelley, Idaho. “If there’s something you want to do, there’s a way to do it. You’ve got to be smart about it, but you can do it.” That philosophy has served Sanders well as he graduated from the family farm to a career with Basic American Foods selling fresh produce.

Now, Sanders is using his keen business sense and entrepreneurial spirit to fund new companies such as Idaho Falls-based G Cubed, a rapidly growing company made famous for it’s revolutionary product, Toe Juice®, with the plant-based compound DermaVine. Invented in 1970 by then-high school chemistry teacher Royce Garner, Toe Juice treats skin abnormalities ranging from fungi such as with athlete’s foot to viral issues like warts and cold sores. It also soothes and prevents dry, cracked hands as a fast-drying liquid rather than a gel or lotion. “It’s a very cool product. The farmers and ranchers love it because it helps to repair dry, cracked skin. They can put it on, put their gloves back on and go right back to work. You don’t have that greasy oil feeling,” Sanders says.

Sanders recognized a unique product with real staying power, so he invested the money G Cubed needed to sell nationwide with Walgreens®. Now, three years later, Toe Juice is in a variety of online retailers and 13 store chains in the United States and Canada. The brand will also hit the shelves of Walmart® in August, almost doubling the product’s current presence in 10,000 stores. “There hasn’t been a new product in the foot care aisle of the grocery store in the last 20 to 30 years. This is a brand new idea and it’s going to be tough to copy,” Sanders says. “It does everything they say it does and then some.”

G Cubed also recently launched a second product — Hog Wash® — a hand sanitizer also infused with DermaVine. Hog Wash is already a huge hit with health care professionals who wash their hands throughout the day. “They were using Toe Juice to heal their hands at night, but then they’d go back to work and beat their hands up again,” Sanders says. “Hog Wash is the only hand sanitizer that helps repair dry, cracked hands instead of causing them.”

Sanders is still a partner and the largest shareholder of G Cubed, but stepped back from the day-to-day operations last year. Founder Royce Garner runs the company with his sons Rhett Garner, president and CEO, and Ren Garner, marketing executive. That arrangement frees Sanders up to work on his other major company, CR-Farms, which he started a year ago. The produce brokerage company acts as a liaison between farmers and retailers.

Sanders and his wife, Cheryl, are now empty nesters after raising their three children. But Sanders, 50, says he’s far from being retired. With G Cubed and CR-Farms growing steadily, his project this year is a company named TC Pies in Olympia, Wash. “I have to have something to keep me busy so I don’t get in the way of my wife,” he jokes.

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