Features

Joshua Kreinberg – Thrive Market

Making the decisions that help people Thrive

The word ‘thrive’ has several meanings—grow well and vigorously, along with to prosper and flourish—are its most well-known. That word can accurately describe what Joshua Kreinberg has done throughout his legal career. His current company also uses this word to describe what it hopes to help its members do by offering affordable natural and organic products to help make healthy living easy.  

Kreinberg is the chief administrative officer and general counsel for Thrive Market, the Los Angeles-based healthy and sustainable online grocer that recently made e-commerce history by becoming the first online-only retailer to accept SNAP EBT after receiving approval from the USDA.  

Joshua Kreinberg | Chief Administrative Officer & General Counsel | Thrive Market

Joshua Kreinberg | Chief Administrative Officer & General Counsel | Thrive Market
Photo Credit: Elisha Knight

“What a way to celebrate our company’s 10th anniversary,” Kreinberg tells Vanguard during an interview from Los Angeles in April. “Accepting SNAP EBT will allow more Americans access to healthy food regardless of geography or socioeconomic status.” 

While he only joined the company about a year ago, Kreinberg notes that the SNAP EBT idea had been discussed internally since Thrive Market’s founding in 2014. The project stalled several times, but the dedication of the company’s co-founders and its employees—called Thrivers—led to the benefits being accepted starting in late February.  

In a press release announcing the USDA approval and launch of the SNAP EBT acceptance, Thrive Market’s co-founder and CTO Sasha Siddhartha noted that nearly 85 percent of people living at or below the poverty line have internet access, making it possible to get healthy groceries via online delivery—and this acceptance breaks down the barrier for the people who need it most. 

With the new SNAP EBT program underway, Kreinberg focuses on everything he can do to further the company’s mission of providing healthy food options to Thrive Market’s 1.5 million members.  

A thriving market 

With a lean legal team of three, including a senior corporate counsel and a corporate counsel, Kreinberg ensures that all legal matters are handled efficiently and effectively. But his role expands far beyond the legal side of the business. As the chief administrative officer, he also oversees the People Operations department, ensuring that the right people are not only hired but stick around to support Thrive Market’s mission.  

“We have a cool approach to hiring that works well,” Kreinberg says. “We have the flexibility to hire talent from across the country, which gives us a diverse team and the ability to tap into different skill sets.” 

Joshua Kreinberg | Chief Administrative Officer & General Counsel | Thrive Market

One aspect of Thrive Market’s company culture is its embrace of a remote-first work environment. Many prefer this structure, as it allows them to focus on their work without constant distractions from in-person interactions. However, Kreinberg also recognizes the importance of in-person events and team meetings in building a strong company culture.  

“We have tentpole events where we bring people together in person,” Kreinberg explains. “It could be monthly in-person executive team meetings or quarterly in-person full leadership team meetings. We also have twice-yearly gatherings, “Thrive Weeks” as we call them, for all our remote employees at our Los Angeles headquarters.” 

The dedication to building a strong team and fostering engagement extends beyond in-person events. Thrivers utilize various communication tools like Zoom and Slack to create connections and ensure effective collaboration. Kreinberg emphasizes the importance of gauging remote employees’ engagement levels and creating a sense of community.  

“We default to turning cameras on during meetings to create a more engaging experience,” he says. “We also make sure to have regular team meetings, professional development opportunities and even social events like picnics and holiday parties to foster a sense of belonging.” 

Spreading the word 

While the company thrives on its remote work environment and virtual communication, Thrive Market is also committed to ensuring the security and privacy of its operations. Kreinberg explains that a comprehensive training program is in place to educate employees on security measures and the best practices for working remotely.  

The legal team collaborates closely with the tech team to implement robust systems that protect member information and prevent fraudulent behavior.  

“We take the privacy and security of our members very seriously,” Kreinberg asserts. “We work hard to ensure that all payment transactions, including those involving SNAP benefits, are handled with top-notch procedures.” 

Joshua Kreinberg | Chief Administrative Officer & General Counsel | Thrive Market

While protecting the brand, the company must also ensure its name is known by consumers nationwide. Thrive Market engages in traditional and non-traditional advertising to educate consumers about its offerings like its high-quality standards, but in 2024, any successful business—or one that wants to continue to thrive in such a changing landscape—must take advantage of social media and other ways to get its name into the marketplace. 

To that end, community awareness is a priority. The company partners with local organizations and participates in events to reach out to the community to highlight its offerings, including Thrive Market’s new acceptance of EBT for payment. As a mission-driven brand, Thrivers often come together to volunteer and give back in the Los Angeles area with non-profit partners like FoodCycle LA and Baby2Baby. The company also works with influencers and non-profit partners to help spread the message and provide valuable product information.  

“We want to ensure that everyone, regardless of their economic background, has easy access to healthy and sustainable products,” Kreinberg explains.  

A passion to serve 

Kreinberg reflects that law school was always part of his plan because of his desire for continued learning. After earning an undergraduate degree in economics and political science from Stanford University, Kreinberg moved across the country to North Carolina to earn an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a JD and LLM from the School of Law.  

“I felt a pull to do both business and law because there is so much intersection between the two,” he says. “I’ve been fortunate to work for companies who see the value in having the business and legal side mesh.” 

Joshua Kreinberg | Chief Administrative Officer & General Counsel | Thrive Market

While working as an attorney for Sullivan & Cromwell and then Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Kreinberg says he slowly learned that he didn’t want to take the billable hours-partner route, but he admits there were a lot of things he liked about working in a law firm. 

“I got to see how different organizations operate, and there was an intellectual challenge of understanding one business and then moving on and learning and understanding another and another,” he recalls.  

Kreinberg moved in-house when he entered the internet dating world at Spark Networks, the parent company of JDate and other affinity group-based dating communities. He later joined PuppySpot and spent more than six years as the company’s CAO and general counsel. He held the same position at Imperfect Foods through its merger with Misfits Market before joining Thrive Market in his current role in June 2023.  

“The one thing that has been consistent wherever I’ve gone is mission-driven businesses and what we’ve tried to accomplish and achieve on a daily basis,” Kreinberg says. “And there’s nothing like the satisfaction I get from all the customer success stories everywhere I’ve been.” 

View this feature in the Vanguard Spring III 2024 Edition here.

Published on: May 9, 2024

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