Father’s Day may only happen once a year but it’s easily celebrated all year long, especially at some of these food companies — both big and small — where the influence of fatherhood is in the brand DNA. From legacy names like Cape Cod Potato Chips to newcomers like Partake Foods, we’re sharing some companies that were inspired by ‘dadpreneurs,’ fathers with secret family recipes, and those who simply lead by example.
1. Safe + Fair
On a mission to provide affordable, safe, and clean food products, Safe + Fair started with two food allergy dads determined to offer their children safe cookies. Dave Leyrer and Pete Najarian began with Skeeter Snacks, which evolved and rebranded under the visionary leadership of CEO, Will Holsworth. Their mission is simple: to provide safe and clean food products at a fair price that anybody would be proud to buy.
2. Late July Snacks
When your dad is one of the most influential entrepreneurs in food — founding Cape Cod Potato Chips — it seems as though any food invention is possible. This was certainly the case with Nicole Bernard Dawes who launched Late July Snacks in 2001 after being discouraged when she was pregnant that she couldn’t find organic saltine crackers. She enlisted the help of her father, Steve Bernard, to help build the company into a national organic snack brand, and has encouraged her two sons to learn about the business. In May 2018, Late July joined the Campbell Snacks family of brands, a move designed to increase the brand’s resources and further its mission of transforming the food industry to ensure that future generations can enjoy organic, tasty snacks.
Inspired by his chef father’s custom line of spices, founder Dondre Anderson launched Symphony Chips, with original and smoked flavors. Committed to building a family legacy, Anderson is passing down his passion for food to his daughters who are inventing healthy food solutions. In addition to building the Symphony Chips brand, Anderson has also launched a nonprofit organization, Symphony Crumbs, that provides training for teens and convicted felons that are re-entering society. The organization helps provide them with pathways to better their lives by learning trades in profitable industries.
4. UNREAL Candy
The story of how UNREAL came to be is actually one that’s quite realistic. It all began when then 13-year-old Nicky Bronner discovered his dad had taken away a large portion of his Halloween candy. Realizing that candy is, in fact, unhealthy, he enlisted the help of his dad — a two-time entrepreneur and angel investor — Michael Bronner to help turn his dream of better-for-you candy into a reality. The two teamed up together to ‘unjunk’ candy, tapping Australian chef Adam Melonas as the brand’s Chief Innovation Officer. Two years and thousands of test recipes later, UNREAL debuted and has since received celebrity endorsements from musician John Legend, Square founder and CEO Jack Dorsey, actor Matt Damon, and Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, among others.
When parents Denise and Jeremy Woodard struggled with their daughter’s food allergies, they decided to create recipes of their own. Partake’s vegan cookies are free from the top 14 most common food allergens and taste just like the real thing. They’re available in both crunchy and soft-baked varieties and are gluten-free, vegan, kosher, and non-GMO.
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