Who is John Altman? A man who owns nothing but has everything. A man who believes that the tortoise will always beat the hare. A man who believes in karma (when he feels like it). A man who believes that the good things in life are the simple things. And that they should be for everyone, not a select few. A man who believes that the key to happiness is spreading the love (man).
Unless you’re one of the lucky few to have had the pleasure of his company, you could be forgiven for wondering just who on earth John Altman is. We wondered exactly the same thing when we first met him on Baker Beach, San Francisco. Back then, he was just a man with a beard and an infectious grin strolling along the beach with a tray of cookies, wearing nothing but an apron and a pair of dog-eared flip flops. We were entranced. Especially after he offered us a cookie.
It might have been the sun, it might have been the gentle sea breeze, it might have been the intense combination of melted butterscotch and freshly squeezed grapefruit, but John’s were the best cookies we’d ever tasted. So damn good, we had to ask him if we could take them home with us. ‘Sure dude’ he said, ‘spread the love’.
John invited us to spend a few days with him at his place. He baked, we ate and then — not long before we parted — he gave us the recipe for his cookies along with his blessing to make them around the world. His gift showed precisely the measure of the man to pass on his life’s work to us and ask for nothing in return except to make other people’s lives better.
John had asked us to “spread the love.” So spread the love we did. Since those carefree days in San Francisco, we’ve tried to follow John’s exhortation in every part of our lives.