The idea for the business came to Greg Vetter shortly after a friend swiped a two-liter bottle of his mom's homemade lemon-garlic salad dressing from his refrigerator.
Inspired by the lengths someone would go to for a dressing by "Tessemae," his mom's nickname, Vetter challenged her: If he got Whole Foods to sell the dressing, she would go into business with him.
"She said, 'That's never going to happen,'" he recalled.
Five years later Vetter, 31, is CEO of an Essex-based company — Tessemae's — that makes the top-selling dressing in the produce department at Whole Foods. What started as a mother's ploy to get her three rowdy boys to eat...