Shazi Visram launched Happy Family on Mother's Day in 2006 after being unable to find suitable home style healthy, organic baby food options.
She started the company with the intentions of making the food for her friends' babies and her own family, but the concept took off. Six years later, Happy Family products are available in more than 17,000 stores nationwide and on Amazon (AMZN) and Diapers.com.
Last year, revenue totaled $34.7 million, up from $156,000 in 2006.What's more impressive is that this is all done with a staff of just 32 full-time workers. Happy Family's beginnings were very grassroots. After Visram's company started selling at a New York City grocery chain, it hired part-time workers (called "Happy Mamas") to spread the word about their products by handing out coupons to moms in parks and playgrounds. The company now has more than 50 Happy Mamas across the U.S. Happy Family's complete line of cereals, meals and snacks for ages from babies to toddlers and kids helps the company stand out in a crowded marketplace, Visram says. The products are certified organic and include nutrients that help brain and eye development, prebiotics and probiotics to support digestive health, as well as ingredients like Salba, kale and quinoa to make the products as nutritious as possible, she says. The company is continuing to launch new products, particularly as babies that have been eating Happy Family meals are growing up. Visram says parents are asking for products for their five- and six-year-olds and older. In March, Happy Family launched 15 new products, including a new line for preschool snack time and elementary school lunchboxes, pouches of nutritious drinkable snacks, and crunchy snacks in individual packets to teach self-feeding to toddlers, among other things. "As a mom, I believe that everything we feed our families should provide the best possible nutrients, whether your child is a newborn or ready for preschool. We want to continue growing with our families and engaging parents and kids alike in learning about how nutrient-rich ingredients can be combined to work together, while also training young palates to crave healthy foods," Visram says.