You can use your keyboard to see the next slide ( ← previous, → next)
Annie Withey, Hampton, CT
Lightbulb moment: As a college student in 1984, Withey developed Smartfood Popcorn in her Boston kitchen. A few years later, the popcorn's signature white cheddar cheese powder gave her the inspiration for Annie's. "One day it occurred to me that there was no macaroni and cheese product on the market using an all-natural white cheddar cheese powder free of artificial ingredients or preservatives," Withey says. "As soon as I mixed together the first batch of Annie's with the powder, milk, butter, and elbow macaroni, I knew the recipe was a winner."
What's in a name: Withey was actually uncomfortable using her name. "However, I realized the name 'Annie' is familiar and friendly, and there is a real Annie, so it makes sense," she explains.
Up next: The development team at Annie's is trusted to keep coming up with new, tasty recipes, while Withey herself is more focused on the company's goal to make positive changes for humanity and the environment, a mission that Annie's has championed since it was first incorporated in 1989. "From the start, we have contributed to a wide range of organizations, including youth camps, sustainable farms, and school gardens," Withey says. "Good ethics coupled with good business is possible."
Meet the geniuses responsible for creating the foods you just can't get enough of
Meet Justin, Amy, Lara, Peet, and the others responsible for the nut butters, frozen meals, bars, coffee, and other foods you love.