Shazi Visram of Happy Family Organics Democratizes Organic Baby Food
Shazi Visram, founder of Happy Family Organics, is a leader in more ways than one. Not only did she found a company that filled the gap in the market for naturally and sustainably sourced baby food, but she also turned that company into a force dedicated to supporting underserved communities and fighting child hunger worldwide.
Visram, who was acknowledged in 2013 by Obama as “a leader that we can all emulate,” has committed her $240 million company to supporting parents in their mission to make healthy choices for their families. When discussing how she came to found Happy Family Organics, Visram told Wharton Business School, “I kept thinking, ‘I know parents want to feed their children better; we have to make it easier for them. We have to make a platform and a brand that makes it welcoming and inclusive, and democratizes organic food.’” And she has done just that. In addition to being USDA organic, Happy Family Organics retails all of their products at very affordable prices without sacrificing quality. Visram goes on to say that she knew a lot of parents “wanted to make homemade…but most wouldn’t consistently do so.” This desire for baby food that was organic and fresh was a reaction to the quality of foods being shelved in supermarkets at the time. Most of the products available were chock full of preservatives and might have been sitting on store shelves for years. That wasn’t good enough. Today, Happy Family Organics is shelved by every major retailer, making it possible for families everywhere to choose better.
Visram and her team are aware that food deserts disproportionately affect BIPOC communities. Anne Laraway, CEO of Happy Family Organics, told Forbes in an interview: “We realize it is our responsibility to find ways to support the families in these areas…Moving forward, we are directing future meal and snack donations to food deserts across the U.S., which are areas with limited access to affordable, nutritious foods.” The snack donations she is referring to are part of Happy Family Organic’s mission to fight childhood hunger. As noted on their website, since 2015, Happy Family Organics has “donated over 4.7 million snacks and meals to families in need.”
By creating a product that was in high demand, but not readily available, Visram was able to develop a profitable business; but by opening up that market and democratizing the availability of organic baby food, Visram has been able to help a much larger demographic of people who too often go underserved.