John Behrens, 35
Farmhaus Cider Co.
John Behrens said he’s had an entrepreneurial mindset for as long as he can remember. Whether he was mowing lawns, hanging holiday lights, selling products online or building websites, he always looked for the next opportunity to jump in and help.
Behrens had his big break when he was hired by BDO during the depths of the recession in 2009 when layoffs were an everyday occurrence, which in some ways is like how things feel now with the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
“During this time, finding a job in accounting was more rare than finding an accountant with a sense of humor,” he said.
Behrens said he got the idea to create Farmhaus Cider while on a brewery tour in 2012. With a little encouragement from friends and some work convincing his family of the vision, he was able to make his dream a reality.
During the pandemic, Behrens was able to successfully complete the rebranding of Farmhaus Cider Co. as well as dedicate additional time to helping on the American Cider Association and Michigan Cider Association boards and helping the local food bank.
“We’re also not cutting back on our corporate sponsorships or donations; these organizations need our help more than ever,” he said. “I firmly believe in living a productive life, which includes work in my professional life as well as giving back to the community.”
Behrens was selected by the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce for its Emerging Leaders program in 2015 and was one of the Business Journal’s 40 under 40 honorees in 2016 and 2018.