Jessica Rolph, Founding Partner and COO
Unique. Innovative. Affordable. These are the words Happy Baby uses to describe their products. From New York City to Boise, Idaho, Happy Family Brands has paved a path to success by thinking outside of the jar.
As a family friendly company that is committed to helping parents provide the best for their baby, Happy Family Brands launched their business on Mother's Day in 2006. Over the last five years, the company grew to distributing their product in over 14,000 retail stores with sales reaching $35 million. In 2012, Happy Family is on track to double their sales from last year.
Jessica Rolph, Founding Partner and Chief Operations Officer, was working for Whole Foods in Texas when she first connected with Shazi Visram, Founder and CEO. With an MBA from Cornell, Jessica was ready to take on a new challenge and moved to New York to begin the adventure. She explained, "My passion was to be a social entrepreneur - to intersect business with a social mission."
Together, Shazi and Jessica wanted to create a business that could help parents give their children the best start in life. "Shazi’s original idea was to do a fresh refrigerated perishable baby food. It took about 8 months to raise first round of funds and we decided to start with a frozen baby food. In 2006, we launched HAPPYBABY in 5 stores in New York City."
Over the past few years, Shazi and Jessica have seen tremendous growth for the company. After introducing the frozen product, they realized that many moms still tend to shop in the traditional baby food aisle. Trying to better target these moms, they introduced new products like a probiotic cereal for babies, an organic puff snack, and finally the Happy Baby pouches which have become some of their best selling products. Inc. Magazine ranked Happy Family as the nation's fastest growing packaged food company in 2011. "Our company had incredible growth. We have responded to parent’s desire for healthy, optimally nutritious foods with a pure mission."
Jessica manages the operations of the company. Their partnership agreement allowed Jessica to move operations to Boise Idaho where her husband received a job opportunity In moving to Boise, Jessica explained "It would have been more expensive to build the operations team out in New York City." We have been able to attract people with experience in the food industry in Boise."
Currently, Happy Family Brands has 20 employees in Boise, 16 employees in New York, and 10 sales representatives across the country. In Boise, Jessica manages production, operations, logistics, R&D, quality control and support services.
On Starting a Business in the Boise Valley:
"Boise is a really easy place to start a business. Costs are generally low, the airport is convenient, and it is easy to be here. People are generally excited to work hard and are grateful for an opportunity. It is an easy backdrop for someone with a pretty hectic life."
On Living Here:
"My husband loves to mountain bike and hike. He is thrilled with the playground that Boise offers outdoors. I love exploring Idaho; it is such a beautiful state. It is unbelievable the wilderness you can access within a half hour to an hour from Boise." Jessica continued, "It is really easy to live here. It is really comfortable. I love the simplicity of everything."