50 Home & Grocery Brands Founded by Dads
Despite what classic sitcoms would have us believe, some dads are capable of doing more than burning dinner and napping on the couch. Although to be fair, we all are pretty good at both of those things. Some dads are incredible cooks. Some make amazing cocktails and some have a talent for creating beautiful things out of piles of wood, metal, or clay. (Full disclosure: I do not fall within this “some” category.)
True, you will be hard-pressed to find a dad who doesn’t think he flips the world’s best pancakes or grills the best burgers. But there are dads who actually are the best at these kinds of pursuits, and are in fact so good that they’ve built successful businesses around their passions.
That’s what the following list is all about — saluting the proud papas of great products and super-cute kids!
Editor note: We set out to write this post to accompany our roundup of mom-owned businesses and we quickly noticed one thing. So many mothers proudly fly their mom flags when talking about their businesses, but we had to dig to find out if some men were parents. We’d love to see more dads talk about their parenting side! And more dads creating things for their kids!
Busy dad Sharif Rasheed wanted to whip up some nut granola bars for his son Malcolm, and by accident wound up with a bunch of small squares instead of long bars. When Malcolm gobbled them up, chef Sharif realized he had a kid-friendly winner on his hands.
Buy: Power Bites Variety Pack, $23.99 at Power Bites
Red Truck Beef Jerky
Dads and meat-lovers Vic Guido and Richard Cresswell teamed up to create high-quality, super-tender jerky from meat sourced in the United States. A family affair all around, many of the founders’ kids work for the company (don’t worry, they’re adults). Red Truck’s products can be found in Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kroger’s, Giant, GetGo, Ace Hardware, and a ton of other outlets.
Buy: Legendary Beef Jerky Bundle, $28.50 at Red Truck Beef Jerky
In a move that would thrill Italian grandmothers everywhere, Andrew Suzuka decided to ditch the jarred stuff he was about to use to make his daughter Eve’s pizza, and instead used a homemade sauce packed with veggies. It wasn’t good — it was great! That moment of tomato inspiration led to Otamot Foods, a yummy line of sauces that lists Eve as the co-founder.
Buy: Essential 4-Pack, $28.99
Ashley Kohn founded this company with the intention of making something virtuous that actually tastes good. Mission accomplished! Prevail is made using 100% grass-fed beef and is naturally sweetened with a small amount of coconut sugar. Prevail regularly finds itself on top of lists of good-for-you and delicious snacks, and in the backpacks of hikers nationwide.
Buy: 4-Pack Bundle Builder, $26.99
Humble Nut Butter
Husband and wife founder team John and Jess Waller juggle parenthood and business with equal passion to do things right. They call their company Humble because they believe “food should be honest, real with minimal ingredients.” Creamy or crunchy, their wide variety of flavors will majorly upgrade your sandwich game.
Buy: Three Jar Gift Box, $42
Syracuse Salt Co.
The sweetest salt company on earth! Co-founded by the father/daughter team of David Iannicello and Libby Croom, Syracuse Salt Co. offers a wide variety of gourmet salts. The idea to start a company was born in the family kitchen, where David was the chef and Libby was his trusty taster. Syracuse Salt is known for a clean and crisp flavor, perfect for everything from steak to popcorn, and more.
Buy: Salt City Flake Salt, $7 at Syracuse Salt Co.
Jen Ferone partnered with her father, Joe Becker, to create Nine Spoons, a soup company built on her grandmother’s legendary wedding soup. Grandma had nine kids to feed, so if you want something as delicious as it is satisfying, her recipe is battle-tested and ready to go!
Buy: Signature Wedding Soup, $22.99 at Nine Spoons
Field Trip Snacks
Three outdoor-loving buddies wanted more delicious and nutritious snack options that they could keep handy while hiking up mountains or flying down ski slopes. Now, the guys have a line of meat and plant-based protein snacks that they love to enjoy with their kids while on adventures in the wild.
Buy: Pail of Meat Snacks, $44.99 at Field Trip Snacks
After packing up their dad’s knockout blend of 28 spices to sell in grocery stores, Dondre Anderson’s daughters (Amina and Amari) had the great idea to put the mix on potato chips. And with that, Symphony Chips was born.
Buy: Symphony Original, $4.99 at Target
The founder of this company says that he was trying to make granola bars when his three sons — Max, Eli, and Ollie — started improvising ingredients. The results were bars that wouldn’t stay in bar form. They kept crumbling apart. They thought this was a problem until they tasted the crunchy, sweet, and salty crumbles and realized they were onto something even better. And so Granola Munch was born!
Buy: Original Honey Almond, $6.95 at Granola Munch
Salt and Straw
Kim Malek wanted to start a business that would also serve as a community gathering place. And what could be a happier gathering place than an ice cream shop? She enlisted her cousin, Tyler, to help her create a line of delicious flavors made with locally sourced ingredients. They say neither one of them had ever made ice cream before they started Salt and Straw, but tasting just one spoonful of their creamy treats will make that very hard to believe.
Buy: Oh, Baby! Ice Cream Gift Pack, $98 at Salt & Straw
Bjorn Quenemoen, son of a Minnesota corn farmer, and pal Jamie O’Shea, an artist and inventor, put their heads together and out popped this super-munchable non-GMO popcorn, seasoned with all-natural and vegan ingredients. No need for butter!
Buy: BjornQorn Classic 12-Pack, $45.95
Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate
Do Elaine Read and Matt Weyandt’s children know how lucky they are? Their parents run a chocolate business! Xocolatl is famous for not only being amazing, but also for the company’s passion for sustainability, community, and inclusion.
Buy: Single Origin Tasting Trio, $27 at Xocalatl Chocolate
Counter Culture Coffee
In 1995, founders Brett Smith and Fred Houk began a business dedicated to bringing great coffee to people’s cups while using practices that protect the environment and improve the lives of global workers and farmers. Their beans are available by the bag or you can sign up for a subscription to keep the caffeine flowing!
Buy: Apollo Gift Subscription, $14.18 a month for 3 months at Counter Culture Coffee
Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ
Pitmaster Rodney Scott lives by the motto “Every day is a good day.” And it certainly helps if that day involves mouthwatering BBQ from one of his many restaurant locations. If you can’t make it there in person, Rodney sells his signature sauces and rubs online.
Buy: RS Pitmaster Gift Box, $30 at Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ
Marie Rama and her son, Will Reiter, launched this company in the hopes of keeping Marie’s husband on a heart-healthy track. After a heart attack scare that wasn’t helped by a high-fat diet, he stopped eating meat, dairy, and oil. Not the easiest diet to maintain, so Marie and Will created their first entirely plant-based sauce: a meatless Bolognese. No sacrificing flavor for health!
Buy: Organic Meatless Bolognese 3 Pack, $33 at Hudson Green
Jot Ultra Coffee
Co-founders Andrew Gordon and Palo Hawken have discovered that size doesn’t necessarily matter. Jot Ultra Coffee is 20 times more concentrated than a regular cup, and just one tablespoon of the stuff combined with milk, hot water, ice, or whatever liquid you want delivers a delicious and super-convenient punch.
Buy: Ultra Coffee, $24 at Jot Ultra Coffee
Mike Salguero, the CEO and founder of Butcher Box, delivered on a great idea — literally. Butcher Box ships 100% grass-fed and pasture-raised beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage-breed pork, wild-caught Alaskan sockeye salmon and sea scallops directly to your fridge. (Antibiotics or hormones not included!)
Buy: Classic Mixed Box, $129 at Butcher Box
In 2009 Meherwan Irani quit his day job in sales to open his first restaurant. He’s since earned multiple James Beard Award nominations and founded Spicewalla, which brings incredibly fresh, small-batch spices to your kitchen. Your homemade chicken tikka masala is about to get a serious upgrade.
Buy: 10 Pack Grill & Roast Collection, $54.99 at Spicewalla
How’s this for a natural progression? A vegetarian with an active lifestyle gets sick of regular peanut butter and creates new flavors for himself. His homemade stuff regularly gets swiped off his shelf by friends and he realizes, “Hey I should try selling it!” Justin’s has a mind-boggling array of nut butter spreads, cups and snacks, each more drool-inducing than the last. There are no bad choices here.
Buy: Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups 12-Pack, $36.90
You really can’t blame people who doubted Ethan Brown when he quit his job as a clean energy executive in 2009 so that he could make vegan burgers that appear to bleed like a beef burger. Brown’s now-ubiquitous plant-based food products are available in 28,000 retail locations across the country, and has partnerships with the likes of McDonald’s and Yum Brands (which include KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell) under its umbrella.
Buy: Beef Bulk Pack, $71.99 for six 1-pound ground beef packages at Beyond Meat
Brothers Brian and Scott Rudolph launched Banza in 2014, giving your favorite sauces a fun new vehicle. The chickpea-based pasta is nutritious, and, very importantly, absolutely delicious. One serving has almost twice the protein of typical pasta and 40 percent fewer net carbs. Refill our bowl!
Buy: Variety Case 3-Pack, $25
First-generation Indian immigrants and life partners Jasleen and Tarush Agarwal founded Sach Foods in 2019, and recipes everywhere are better for it. Their organic flavored paneer (a firm, fresh cheese) is ridiculously creamy and delicious. Their site features a ton of mouthwatering recipes, including the soon-to-be-favorite panko beer batter paneer fries.
Buy: Spicy Habanero, $7.99
Who knew that yogurt could have such a heartfelt origin? In 2005, Siggi Hilmarsson was feeling homesick for Iceland — in particular, its thick and creamy yogurt called skyr. The stuff he found in grocery stores in the States just wasn’t cutting it, so he started making his own blend in his New York City kitchen using a recipe sent by his mom. It was quite a recipe, apparently, because within months he launched Siggi’s, which has turned into a worldwide success.
Read more: Siggi’s
This line of lean and delicious animal protein bars and snacks was dreamed up by married-with-kids founders Taylor Collins and Katie Forrest after they went vegetarian and, uh, weren’t having the best bodily reactions. After trying the Paleo diet, they both felt stronger and healthier and soon found themselves wishing that the animal protein-rich diet was a little more convenient. And — boom! — an idea was born. On their site, Taylor explains, “We call our product EPIC because it improves the lives of animals, regenerates our bodies, and helps heal the land.”
Buy: Keto-Friendly Bar Variety 12-Pack, $30.53
A Dozen Cousins
The company’s supercute name is an homage to founder Ibraheem Basir’s daughter, her 11 cousins, and all of the great times the extended family has had around the dinner table. The principle behind the company is simple: Offer authentic, convenient and healthy beans for Creole, Caribbean, and Latin American cooking.
Buy: 6 Flavor Variety Pack, $24.99
Sap Hound Maple Company
Nate and Corrie St. Saviour are the co-founders of Sap Hound Maple Company, which they started in Brownfield, Maine more than a decade ago. The operation got its start after Nate got a copy of the book Backyard Sugarin’ by Rink Mann, which gave him the courage to get started. Fun fact: Corrie and Nate trade and barter their maple syrup for everything their family eats! Read more here.
Buy: Organic Maple Syrup, $8 at Sap Hound Maple Company
You’ve certainly seen this brand on the shelves of your local grocery store, but if you have yet to crack open one of their tea or juice bottles, here’s what to expect: a decidedly not sickly-sweet, organic refreshment. Seth Goldman and his Yale School of Management professor, Barry Nalebuff, co-founded the company based on their mutual desire to quench their thirst with something that wasn’t overly sugary but also tasted good. They have since expanded their mission to include sustainable practices that keep customers — and the planet — happy and healthy.
Buy: Moroccan Mint Green Tea, $1.99 at Honest Tea
Woody Hambrecht co-founded this handcrafted aperitif company with his wife Helena Price Hambrecht. (They also co-founded a daughter named Sophie.) The company prides itself on using high-quality ingredients for their delicious and lower-alcohol aperitifs (think: light and refreshing cocktail appetizers), as well as their eco-minded production and shipping practices.
Buy: The Sampler Kit, $40 at Haus
Back in 2007, sommelier André Hueston Mack created Maison Noir (black sheep), a lifestyle brand that creates hilarious streetwear T-shirts and whimsical wines with names like O.P.P. (Other People’s Pinot Noir.) Both will give your next backyard BBQ a boost of fun.
Buy: O.P.P., $25 at Mason Noir Wines
Cheers to this idea! Brandon Schwartz (father of 19-month-old Oscar) and co-founder Lawrence Cisneros use patented Twist-to-Mix bottle tech and cold pressurization that allows their company DRXNMYTH to deliver incredibly fresh mixed drinks straight to your porch party.
Buy: Bad Birdys Rum Punch, $11 at DRXNMYTH
Co-founders Colin Davis and David Dolginow reject the notion that cider has to be some sickly sweet, headache-inducing concoction. Their delicious ciders are complex, inventive, and perfect for a hot summer day. Is there anything better than sipping something delicious out of an ice-cold can?
Buy: New Classics 12-Pack, $50 at Shacksbury Cider
What began as a hobby turned into an award-winning business for founder and master distiller Yuseff Cherney. He started with a pot still from an old beer fermenter to make rum, vodka, gin, and whiskey, and now his team at Cutwater Spirits make canned classic cocktails for the masses. Put away the shakers and muddlers — these are ready to drink!
Buy: Cutwater Tequila Variety 6-Pack, $16.99 at Drizly
These 10- to 30-calorie craft non-alcoholic brews are for folks like founder Ted Fleming who want to avoid alcohol but love nothing more than cracking open an ice-cold fresh one after a long day of work or play.
Buy: IPA 24-Pack, $55 at Partake Brewing
You know that “We’re almost out of booze!” panic moment you get as a party hose? Chris Vaughn wants to cure it once and for all with Saucey. His site promises to deliver you the alcohol you need within 30 minutes.
Tools and Gear
David Holcomb’s company is the father of more than 300 kitchen and houseware patents worldwide. He is endlessly innovative, and the Chef’n line is stocked with gadgets and gizmos that are not only fun to play with, but they actually work!
Buy: Garliczoom XL Garlic Chopper, $14
Schmidt Bros. Cultery
Not only are the co-founders of this cutting-edge cutlery company fathers, but brothers Jared and Jordan’s father was also deeply involved in the early phases of their designs. Dads all around!
Buy: Bonded Ash 7-Piece Knife Block Set, $299.95 at Sur la Table
East Fork Pottery
As apprentices, co-founders Alex Matisse, Connie Matisse, and John Vigeland spent thousands of hours honing their ceramics skills. The results speak for themselves with this line of durable dishware that looks as amazing as the food you serve on it.
Buy: The Mug, $38 at East Fork Pottery
Co-founders Eunice Byun and Dave Nguyen are not professional chefs, so they both found themselves in the quandary that many home cooks face: Do you spend a ton of money on high-end kitchen tools because you want stuff that looks nice? Or do you settle for the cheaper stuff that is functional but ugly? Their answer: none of the above. Their company makes stylish, high-quality kitchen gear that is sold direct to customers, cutting its cost nearly in half of comparable brands.
Buy: The Coated Pan, $95 at Material
Five generations of greenhouse growers and floral industry innovators led to founder Justin Mast’s company, which ships indoor and outdoor plants straight from their greenhouses to your home, eliminating long wilting waits in stores or nurseries.
Buy: Savory Herbs Kit, $40 at Bloomscape
Buy: High-Performance Dish Soap + Dispenser with Silicone Sleeve, $17.95 at Grove Collaborative
Earlywood’s founder is Brad Bernhart, a proud dad and expert craftsman. He began making wooden spoons as a creative release while studying mechanical engineering at Montana State University. Today, he designs incredibly beautiful and high-functioning wooden utensils and cooking tools. Think of them as countertop sculptures that you can use to make a mean stir-fry.
Buy: The Newlywood Set, $295 at Earlywood
Jono Pandolfi is a design and ceramics superstar, whose work is embraced by home chefs and super-chefs alike. With dishes and vases and even a now-famous fermentation crock, he’s kept a sharp eye on function and design.
Buy: The Fermentation Crock, $130 at Jono Pandolfi
Founders Byron and Dexter Peart are Jamaican-Canadian twins who grew up in the suburbs of Ottawa. “We absorbed diverse cultural perspectives and stitched together a unique sense of belonging that felt beautiful and natural to us,” they state on their amazing e-commerce site, which is packed with the products of companies that emphasize beauty, sustainability, and positive social impact.
Buy: Takeaway Mug Stone, $18 at Goodee
Middleton Made Knives
Bladesmith Quintin Middleton takes his knives seriously. The exacting South Carolina-based artisan custom makes each knife to the precise specifications of each customer. His blades are true works of art.
Buy: 8-Inch Echo Chef Knife, $240 at Middleton Made Knives
Ooni was founded by husband-and-wife team Kristian Tapaninaho and Darina Garland, who dreamed of making great pizza at home without having to rob a bank to afford a wood-burning oven. Ooni ovens are wood-, coal-, and gas-powered; totally portable; and, let’s face it, super cute. It’s like having a Star Wars droid in your yard who spits out perfectly cooked pepperoni pies!
Buy: Ooni Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven, $349 at Ooni
Splatters matter! This ingenious kitchen helper keep oil and sauces from flying out of your pan and onto, well, everything! Yair Reiner invented Frywall in his kitchen in Brooklyn, New York, and the silicone cone brought him all the way to Shark Tank where it snagged a $100,000 deal with Lori Greiner.
Buy: Frywall, $18.95
High school pals Mark Warren and Chris Pence launched this whimsical tableware company in 2012, and explain its unusual name on their website: “When we started Haand, we knew that it was going to be an unusual company, slightly off-kilter because we believed in making things by hand in the 21st century. Simultaneously strange and familiar, it is a knowable, recognizable, and comfortable word.” Their handy work can be found on the tables of many James Beard-award-winning restaurants, as well as loyal customers’ homes.
Buy: 8-Ounce Cloudware Short Mug, $31 at Haand
Brothers Roy and Ryan Seiders did the unimaginable — they made coolers cool! If you don’t know, Yeti Coolers are not like those styrofoam junkers that bust apart when you’re halfway between the parking lot and your beach blanket. Their line of hard coolers are nearly indestructible (they stress-tested them against a very hungry Grizzly bear!), and they’re sleek, sturdy, and able to keep your stuff ice cold not for just for a few hours, but for a few days.
Buy: Tundra 35 Hard Cooler, $249.99 at Yeti
Taking a sip out of the coffee mug that’s been sitting on your desk for an hour is usually a less-than-pleasant taste sensation. Sick of coffee that’s gone cold and gross, Clay Alexander, founder and CEO of Ember, invented a high-tech mug that keeps coffee (or any hot beverage) at its ideal temperature for an hour and a half. (Now if only he could invent a mug that magically refills itself, too!)
Buy: Ember Mug 2, $129.95