An Aeronautical Engineer Turned Willy Wonka

Aerospace engineer Dan Preston has reinvented himself as a Brooklyn Willy Wonka

In 2009 aeronautical engineer Dan Preston sold Atair Aerospace, a $22 million business that designed parachutes for the military. Largely barred from the defense industry by a noncompete clause, Preston, who holds more than 100 patents, sought a new direction. He found one while surveying his family’s property in the Dominican Republic, which contained a few small cacao farms. Contemplating the multicolored fruit, he saw untapped potential.

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