Featured Student Business: 88 Acres
Name of Business:
We aim to increase the quality of life for the millions of people directly and indirectly affected by food allergies by providing healthy and delicious snack foods, free of the top eight food allergens and crafted with simple and sustainably sourced ingredients, designed for all to enjoy.
Inspiration for Business:
I am deathly allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, which are two of the top eight food allergens. My fiancé, Nicole, grew up on an 88-acre organic farm in central Massachusetts, and has no food allergies. Add us together, plus love for healthy living, and you’ve got 88 acres.
How The Idea Began:
Nicole and I were out to dinner in Boston a couple years ago and my meal was cross-contaminated with nuts. Due to my allergy, I immediately went into anaphylactic shock and ended up spending the night in the emergency room. It was a super scary experience, but resulted in two awesome things: A) It was the first time Nicole got to meet my parents, and B) It sparked a discussion between Nicole and I to learn more about food allergies and to to discover what snack foods were on the market that I could safely consume but that she would love to eat as well. We discovered that food allergies are growing at an incredible rate with no signs of slowing, that there really weren’t many snack food options free of top food allergens, and what was available was tasteless and bland. So, we decided to launch our own healthy snack food company free of the top eight food allergens – safe for those with food allergies, but designed to be enjoyed by all.
Favorite Thing About The Business:
That I get to work with the love of my life in building a company that, at the end of the day, not only makes our lives easier, but improves the lives of millions of other people indirectly or directly affected by food allergies.
Worst Thing About The Business:
Launching a company takes way longer than you initially predict!
Most Recent Business Accomplishments(s):
We won the Babson BETA Challenge in April of 2013, and just a few weeks later, we were accepted as a finalist into MassChallenge 2013. We just moved into our new MassChallenge space!