A Place at the Table

November 1, 2018

Giving back is at the heart of Mark & Jeanette Priddy’s Happy Day Brands

By Caitlin Copple Masingill

Photos by Kimberlee Miller and Submitted by Happy Day | Toni Osmundson of @lifewithsydneyandco

Husband-and-wife social entrepreneurs, Mark and Jeanette Priddy, know something about the power of intuition and giving back. It’s the foundation to the values-centered approach that weaves throughout the four organizations they’ve built in the Treasure Valley over the 25 years they’ve called the community home, including Happy Day Brands.

“Happy Day has been germinating for over 10 years,” said Mark of the couple’s two-year-old chocolate, coffee, and oatmeal company. “Success to us means not only a profitable company, but also a company that invests in our employees, so they can maximize their talents, and together, we can do the most good in the world.”

The triple-bottom line ethos (people, planet, profit) of their company drives a new partnership with the Idaho Foodbank’s School Pantry Program that feeds the families of hungry students and their families.

“Mark and Jeanette Priddy’s positivity and desire to make a difference is truly palpable,” said Morgan Wilson, chief development officer at the Idaho Foodbank. “When they learned about our School Pantry Program, their eyes lit up knowing their company’s donation of oatmeal would be going home with thousands of students’ families during the school year.”

In late October, the Priddys announced that Happy Day Brands will donate 100,000 servings of oatmeal over the next 12 months to the program. Last year, the School Pantry Program served 1,409 families across Idaho.

A few years after moving to Boise, Mark partnered with his two brothers and sold their company, Richardson Labs, which had grown from a start-up to more than $50 million in annual sales. The success of Richardson Labs led to a 1998 merger with Rexall-Sundown, a public NASDAQ 100 company. After the sale, Mark and Jeanette wanted their next adventure to be rooted in social purpose, so they created Rembrandts Coffee House in downtown Eagle.

“By this point, Jeanette and I had four kids, and we had a real heart for our neighborhood,” said Mark. “We thought about what our city needed, and back then, Eagle really needed a community space, where people could gather and feel a sense of belonging. A coffeehouse seemed like the best way to achieve this for our neighborhood.”

“Outreach was a big part of the coffeehouse,” said Jeanette. “Rembrandts provided a platform to engage our community around important global issues such as, human trafficking, HIV/Aids, women’s empowerment, education and clean water. Because of our influence from the success of Richardson Labs, we wanted to help connect the local community to the global causes that mattered most to us.”

Happy Day Brands is well on its way to making a difference in Idaho, producing locally sourced superfood oatmeal, gourmet chocolate, and roasting organic and fair-trade coffee in the Treasure Valley with the help of 12 employees, four of whom are refugees and graduates of Full Circle Exchange. Happy Day products are for sale in seven local Albertsons stores, the Boise Co-Op, Natural Grocers, Whole Foods, as well as coffee shops, cafes, and hotels. Happy Day’s oatmeal can be found in 125 Jacksons Food Stores in Idaho and several neighboring states. Every purchase of a Happy Day product provides a meal to those in need.

“I want to try and put a smile on every person’s face in the country,” said Jeanette. “I want it to be successful, because we see the need to make someone’s day a little bit brighter, to bring joy and create a moment for connection. We also want to give a sense that everyone matters. In a cynical world, we want to bring some happy back.”