Happy Family Brands

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2013, Click to Enter The 2014 Steve Awards for Women in Business

Company: Happy Family Brands, New York, NY USA
Company Description: Launched on Mother’s Day 2006, and founded and operated by moms, Happy Family is the leading premium organic food brand delivering optimal nutrition for the entire family. Happy Family products are consistently recognized for superior taste and nutrition.
Nomination Category: Company/Organization Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Management Team of the Year – More Than 10 Employees

Nomination Title: Shazi Visram, Jessica Rolph and their Team

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated management team since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):

Launched on Mother’s day 2006 to respond to a lack of healthy food for infants and toddlers, Shazi Vizram, founder and CEO, worked with pediatricians and nutritionists, to create Happy Baby Foods eventually becoming Happy Family Brands. The company’s family style management combined with focused R&D and a network of Happy Mamas, has helped Happy Family become a recognized player the in multibillion dollar baby food market. Vizram , founding partner, and Jessica Rolph, her managing partner and COO, working in NYC and Idaho, respect their over 50 employees, allowing them autonomy to do their jobs, fostering new passions for more innovative ideas.

Pioneers in the category of organic baby food with no pesticides, chemical fertilizers, genetic modification or preservatives, their R&D Team has been recognized and lauded by the industry. Says Vizram, "We are more than just organic, and try to push the envelope when it comes to nutrition."

Happy Family offers more than 90 enlightened products specifically formulated to provide the best possible nutrients for kids of all ages through thoughtfully combined powerhouse ingredients like Salba® the Super Chia, quinoa, purple carrots, and sunflower butter. As the leader in category innovation, Happy Family was the first to use probiotics and choline in products as well as introduce organic, gluten-free puffed snacks, organic freeze dried yogurt snacks and a complete line of baby and toddler foods in BPA-free pouches made from safer plastics with 10% of the carbon footprint of jarred baby food.

Happy Family has enjoyed tremendous growth in the last few years. They formed the Happy Mamas Community of over 75 moms around the country who test products, act as a focus group, and most importantly, spread the word in their communities with coupons, samples and demonstrations, both live and via social media networks. In just a few years, revenues have quadrupled to over $62 million in 2012. Happy Family is now available in more than 17,000 specialty and mainstream retail stores including Whole Foods, Target, Kroger, Albertson's, Publix, Safeway and HEB as well as online. Happy Family has received numerous company, brand and innovation accolades.

In addition to helping consumers raise healthy babies, Happy Family supports social causes, such as Project Peanut Butter, Healthy Child Healthy World, FEED Projects, SPOON Foundation, and the March of Dimes. They also provide educational materials to serve as a resource to help parents make informed decisions regarding food, nutrition, and a healthy environment for their family.

Danone Deal

In her business plan while a student at Columbia Business School, Vizram wrote that Danone was an ideal corporate partner for the exit strategy of her company. On Mother’s Day 2013, seven years to the day from their founding, Happy Family announced that Groupe Danone acquired 92 percent ownership of the company “for hundreds of millions of dollars,” according to the WSJ.

A testament to the excellent management team, every day operations will remain unchanged, with Shazi and Jessica continuing to oversee the business, providing international growth for Happy Family and an entry into the US baby food market for Danone.

The success of Happy Family is a direct testament to her vision and and the company’s passionte management

Provide a brief biography of the person or persons who lead the nominated management team (up to 125 words):

Considered by President Obama as “not only an outstanding businesswoman, but also a leader that all of us can emulate,” Shazi Visram is a daughter of immigrants who took life-changing risks in order to create a better world for their children. Shazi has always sought to create abundance and pay it forward

The Happy Family Management Team includes:

Shazi Visram, Founder & CEO

Jessica Rolph, COO

Jonathan Alpert, CFO

Helen Bernstein, VP of Marketing

Shauna Grob, VP of Finance

Anne Laraway, VP of Business Development

Mona Sattar, Art Director

The CEO (or other principal manager) of this company is a woman, and at least 40% of the management team is comprised of women.