Specialty Food Magazine

FALL 2018

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://specialtyfoodmagazine.epubxp.com/i/1017167

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Page 38 of 91

Haile Thomas, founder and CEO, The Happy Org H aile Thomas is seeking to change the way the world thinks about food, one com- munity at a time. At age 17, Thomas is already a veteran speaker, podcaster, author, and nutrition expert and the youngest Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach in the U.S. She is the founder and CEO of The HAPPY (Healthy Active Positive Purposeful Youth) Org, a nonprofit that promotes the importance of nutrition and culinary education. She founded HAPPY at age 12, and since then has delivered her message to nearly 16,000 children through hands-on cooking demonstrations, in-school programming, summer camps, and other activities. Thomas became engaged in the promotion of healthy cooking and eating following her father's diagnosis with Type 2 diabetes. Together with other members of her family, she researched how changes in diet and lifestyle could help, and when their approach worked and her father beat the disease, Thomas saw the opportunity to share her knowl- edge and message of hope with others. She is currently organizing a cookbook, and getting ready to launch the Happy Academy, a virtual learning center for teachers and communities. In the long term, Thomas says she'd like to have a facility to serve as the hub for her organization's activities, where she can host summer camps and classes. "And, I'd like to be able to scale that hub, and be like the YMCA for health and nutrition," she says. —M.H. 12 Under 35 Age: i7 Winter Fancy Food Show Booth 5306 36 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com Julie Besonen writes for The New York Times and is a restaurant columnist for nycgo.com. Mark Hamstra is a regular contributor to Specialty Food Magazine and Specialty Food News.

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