Friendly brand face: Tom's Of Maine
Looming corporate masters: Colgate-Palmolive ( CL)

Tom and Kate Chappell started their company in Kennebunk, Maine, in 1970 with $5,000 in seed money and made toothpaste, soap and deodorant without animal testing or animal product. Sure, they sold an 84% share in the company to Colgate-Palmolive for $100 million in 2006 for an 84% stake in the company, but they kept the remaining 16% just to ensure the products and formulas would remain intact.

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