The bright blue store displays carry a bold message: buy one, give one. Beneath is a line of products like coffee, chocolate, and oatmeal. The display looks like it could be for another national brand – but the products are made right here in Boise — and there’s a mission behind this brand.
Happy Day Brands started a trial program with Albertsons in its new flagship store on Broadway Ave. in July. Now that trial is expanding – with more stores and a more prominent display.
Mark and Jeanette Priddy founded the company to not only bring a line of products they believe in to store shelves, but make a big impact in communities.
“We’ve always had this heart around how do we help reduce poverty throughout Idaho,” CEO Mark Priddy said. “Happy Day Brands really came about with this whole idea of, ‘how can we use business as an engine for good?'”
Full Circle comes full circle
The new business is an off-shoot of the Priddys’ non-profit work with Full Circle Exchange. That effort gives women the opportunity to gain job skills through training, experience, and economic opportunity.
“Jeanette and I want to help women who are struggling. When you’re going through trauma it’s particularly difficult for women because they have a whole bunch of other barriers they have to worry about,” he said. “What they really need is someone to come alongside them. They need somebody to open the door for them. They don’t need somebody come and fix it. What they need is someone to believe in them.”
“None of this can happen if you don’t have a good product that people want to buy,” co-founder Jeanette Priddy said. “So it all starts with really good wholesome products, locally sourced and based.”
Happy Day Brands not only helps fuel the mission of Full Circle Exchange, the sale of the products themselves helps to benefit the hungry in Idaho – and soon, perhaps, beyond.
Happy Day purchases help feed families
When a customer buys one of the company’s products, a serving of oatmeal is given to the Idaho Foodbank’s School Pantry program. That helps feed hungry families and supplements the Foodbank’s Backpack program, which sends a bag full of food home with a child in need each week.
“What (the Foodbank saw with the Backpack program) was kids come they come home and they have to share their food – because other members of the family are hungry too,” Priddy said. “What I love about the Foodbank and what they did was they looked at the problem and went ‘how do we find a solution for it?'”
The pantry network had a need for a healthy breakfast product, which is where Happy Day Brands comes in.
“The families are able to take a two-pound bag of oatmeal for the for the rest of the week.”
The company has committed to donating more than 100,000 servings of oatmeal to more than 1,500 families at 35 schools.
The benefits of a B-Corp
Happy Day is a B-Corp, a for-profit entity; the B stands for benefit. The idea is to build businesses that benefit not just their shareholders, but any stakeholder that may interact with the business and its products or services.
“There’s always been the non-profit and the for-profit. When we started Rembrandt’s coffeehouse years and years ago, B Corps didn’t exist here. But social entrepreneurship was kind of something new. And so we said ‘let’s provide kind of a for-profit vehicle that could then help a nonprofit,’ which we are doing,” he said.
Now Happy Day Brands lets them use the mechanics of a business to create social good.
“Not only can we actually create a great profitable company but alongside of that and simultaneously we want to really create an engine for good,” he said.
But without a quality product, Jeanette said the entire thing wouldn’t work. Cause marketing has become more common in recent years, but she wants Happy Day to be a notch above.
“Often you would see that you’d have inferior products that were kind of a charity buy,” she said. “And then your buy would be kind of a one-time deal. We have integrity with everything we are creating. We want to make sure that whatever product we’re putting out there is a good product.”
Albertsons partnership a chance to expand
When the splasy new Broadway Albertsons opened in July, Happy Day Brands had a small cardboard display with a few products. After the test, the line expanded to include a full endcap with more shelf space. And the products are rolling out to additional stores.
“They are in six additional stores,” Albertsons spokesperson Kathy Holland said, “and are in discussions to expand even further within the division.”
In addition to Broadway, the products can be found at 250 S. Eagle Rd., 4700 N. Eagle Rd., 900 E. ParkCenter Blvd., 1650 W. State St and 6550 S. Federal Way, according to Holland.
The expansion can help Happy Day grow, but they want to structure it properly.
“We really want to make sure we localize it,” Mark Priddy said. “Obviously you have six stores here and so all of the ‘Give Back’ stays here. But how are we going to deal with that when we go to Montana, or Portland?”
The solution was to engage food banks in other areas. When a consumer is making a purchase, their dollars are helping support the local community in which they live.
“We’re partnering with great companies like Albertsons and they’re really coming alongside of what we’re doing,” he said. He said the Boise-based grocery giant is helping to further their mission.
“It’s a catalyst,” he said. “It’s leverage to be able to take something that you can visualize and actually then try to fully execute it.”
For the couple, the expansion is a culmination of a lot of effort – and still the beginning of a road they are excited to be on.
“It’s pretty amazing to see what we’ve dreamed about and talked about and all the work that went into creating the actual products, the packaging and all the relationship building,” Jeanette Priddy said. “And then to see it here is pretty amazing.”
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