about happy belly, how it came into being, and where it's going:
I started Happy Belly a little over six years ago. At that point, I had been diagnosed with Celiac Disease for a number of years and was completely exhausted by the gluten free baked goods that were on the market. The ingredients were always lacking in nutrition, taste, and texture. The list of additives, modifiers, and heavily processed ingredients never sat right with me. I started experimenting with my own version of gluten free baking. I had a few years of culinary experience as a chef that helped me with the flavors, food combinations, and processes. I had an MFA that helped me with the concept, creativity, and overall aesthetic. I put those two together and created Happy Belly.
Happy Belly started with gluten free, vegan, and organic catering. I was hired by a local socially conscious business to cook and bake daily for their employees. It turned into the best incubator—I was able to test a lot of my techniques and recipes on the smaller scale before moving the business forward. I started the Hudson Farmers Market in the winter of 2014. Around that time I also started developing a line of wholesale baked goods that I began offering customers. Two years ago my husband transitioned into the business, bringing with him ten years of organic food industry experience and systems management. Together, we’ve decided to have a four tiered approach to Happy Belly: farmers markets; wholesale accounts; catering; and social outreach (classes, events, and donations).
Through years of normal expansion and contraction, we have been able to refine what works for us. We like being able to offer creations that are made with love in our home kitchen. Healing with whole foods is our primary focus. I was able to heal myself through what I ate, so it’s a natural extension to give the same to our customers. We pride ourselves in sourcing the highest quality organic, gluten free, and vegan ingredients. We source from many local businesses and we grow a lot of the herbs/veggies in our gardens at home. We create baked goods that make people feel good when eating them—simple, straight forward, and creative food with international cultural influences!
We’ve grown a lot in the past year, but we still want to take a slower path toward upscaling (making the foundation as strong as possible!). We try to make sure that every decision we make is not detracting from the potency of what we do.