Primary Business Activity: Food Manufacturing of Allergy Friendly Products
How long have you been in business? As a mom of four children with multiple food allergies, I have been cooking allergen-free since 2004. Not wanting my kids or anyone else with food allergies to feel excluded at school, birthday parties, social events, etc., I created snacks that looked and tasted similar to what others were eating but were still delicious and free of the food allergens they had to avoid. On November 4, 2015, I started Safely Delicious®.
What is your business philosophy/mission statement? Safely Delicious® mission is to create snacks that look and taste similar to what others are eating but are free of the food allergens many people have to avoid. We want to offer a solution for those who are limited in what they can eat due to food allergies and would like to still enjoy a delicious and safe snack, just like those without food allergies. Often, people with food allergies will feel left out in social settings. Safely Delicious® aims to address this. We want to provide a snack option that is delicious for all, yet safe for those with food allergies, so that everyone can feel included and welcome.
ABOUT THE OWNER
Owner’s Name: Lisa Ragan
What is your background? I do not come from a business background, nor have I been professionally trained in culinary arts. However, my life and personal experiences have allowed me to be passionate and excited about starting and running a business that is helping and meeting the needs for so many people with food allergies. Shortly after starting my business, I partnered with a business advisor at the Kansas Small Business Development Center and became a member of the From the Land of Kansas organization. These two resources have helped me TREMENDOUSLY in regard to teaching me the tools necessary to own and run a business and have helped me to continue growing my business.
What inspired you to start your business? Back in 2004, I was inspired by my four children to make allergy friendly snacks, because they had multiple food allergies. Then in November 2015, I was encouraged by my fellow “church ladies” I worked with at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Parish, to take a snack I had been making for my children for years and turn it into business that could help others with food allergies, like my kids.
What sets your business apart from your competitors? We have created a snack bite that is free of the Top 8 Food Allergens (gluten, dairy, peanut, tree nuts, soy, egg, fish, shellfish) and vegan. There is nothing else in the allergy friendly food space like our unique rice-based sweet and crunchy snack products. Our products also have no cholesterol, no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, no preservatives, are low in sodium and are an excellent source of iron. Safely Delicious® is a woman and minority owned and operated business and we have the WOB and WBE certifications. We currently manufacture and package all our products here in Kansas.
How is your business involved in your community? Safely Delicious® participates in community events that involve food allergy awareness, celiac disease awareness and ADHD. We also donate our products to local organizations such as Food Equality Initiative (FEI) Food Pantry and Project 1020 (Cold Weather Shelter for the Homeless).
QUESTION & ANSWER SESSION
Why should your business be included in the minority & women business spotlight? My business should be included in the spotlight because as a Hispanic Woman, I believe our story can inspire other women and minorities to take a personal passion they have and/or life situation and turn it into a positive, profitable business.
What was the biggest “win” in your business’ history? I have had a couple of big WINS in my business’ history. The first one was when my business was a vendor at the Fancy Food Show in New York City in June 2017, and we were discovered by a couple of management people who worked for the Balls Food Stores, from back in Kansas City, KS. Meeting them in NYC led to our products finally breaking into the grocery store scene and being sold at major grocery stores in the Kansas City market, where we were from. The other big win for our business happened recently. We were chosen to be the “2019 EMERGING BUSINESS OF THE YEAR” for the Kansas Small Business Development Center.
What’s one valuable lesson you’ve learned that you would share with other business owners? As a business owner, you must be passionate about your business and the mission of your business. If you are not, it will be obvious to those you are working with and seeking to do business with. Passion is contagious and leads to excitement. When others feel your passion and excitement, they will want to be part of your business and what you have to offer as a business. Which in turn will help lead to the success of your business.
Career Advantage has been owned and operated by a Lawrence, KS woman since its inception in 2003 and continues to be a valuable resource nearly twenty years later! In today’s tumultuous environment, I feel career services are necessary now more than ever. People are having to change jobs, often unexpectedly, and the competition is high. Engaging a career services professional to help prepare application materials and display one’s highest representation can expedite the job search process and help candidates make well-informed career decisions. This ultimately helps the Kansas workforce and economy, since we can assist people all across the state.
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