Cassandra Curtis and Ari Raz have always been interested in both health food and entrepreneurship, which made them likely partners for Once Upon a Farm.
Once Upon a Farm began as the first refrigerated baby food on the market and has since developed into a kids’ popular nutrition brand. Cassandra studied nutrition and its impact on development while working towards her Master’s in Psychology at Alliant International University. So she knew that nourishing a growing child was crucial. Only when she had her own daughter did she realize how hard it was to find fresh baby food at local grocers. She had to spend many hours a week preparing fresh food and wished she could find similar food in stores. In no time, she was delivering her own fresh baby food all across town from a refrigerated van.
Then comes in Ari, who had grown up in a health conscious household where his mom fed him sprouted grain bread and taught yoga way before it was cool. While working towards his MBA at Yonsei, he interned for LOTTE – one of the largest food companies in the world. There he found out a passion for projects that allowed him to combine his business acumen and love for food. A few years down the line, he stumbled upon Cassandra’s website and contacted her multiple times about working together. She eventually responded, and a partnership was born.
These days, Cassandra works as the company’s Chief Innovation Officer where she works on product development and recipes with various R&D teams. Ari takes on the role of CEO and President of Specialty Sales, working with VP of Sales, Business Development, and figuring out the best ways to get their products out to grocery stores and alternative channels.
The company has grown from eight employees to 41 by selling its products via online channels in response to the pandemic, relocating the headquarters to Berkeley, Calif.,and partnering with actress and child welfare advocate, Jennifer Gardner, for strong brand advocacy. Despite COVID-19, the company has seen great growth, especially since people are prioritizing health and immunity more than ever.
Listen in to hear all about Once Upon a Farm’s development and its growth as a result of the San Diego entrepreneur ecosystem.
Ari’s: Taco Stand for the carne asada, City Tacos for ‘fancy’ fish tacos, and Puesto for high class dining
Cassandra: Hago’s Organic Tacos in Encinitas
Connect with Cassandra & Ari on Socials:
Cassandra – LinkedIn, Instagram
Ari – LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter
Keep up with Once Upon a Farm:
Thanks to our partners at Cox Business for their support in enabling us to grow the San Diego ecosystem.