Dallas based natural snack food company, Hail Merry LLC, is proud to announce that CEO, Sarah Palisi Chapin and Founder, Susan O’Brien, have won Ernest & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Consumer Product Category for the Southwest Region. The award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. An independent panel of judges selected Chapin and O’Brien, and the award was presented at a special gala event at the Sheraton Dallas on June 21.
“In just 5 years we have gone from making food in my backyard cabana into a FDA approved manufacturing facility, then into our own certified gluten-free commercial kitchen. This year we tripled our manufacturing space,” states Susan O’Brien. “We are dedicated to not only providing people an easy way to meet special diet requests, such as gluten-free, vegan (dairy-free), raw, and kosher, but also to creating the best tasting products made from pure ingredients for all customers with discriminating taste and demands."
“It is such an honor to be recognized as an EY Entrepreneur of the Year for the Southwest Region of the US,” said Sarah Palisi Chapin. “We are grateful to EY for their program, which puts a spotlight on business and the role of entrepreneurs in growing our economy. The experience itself has drawn us into a precious EY community and introduced us to resources to help us grow Hail Merry. Our dramatic growth is the result of support from so many people whose lives are touched by the need to understand what they are eating in line with what might be allergies, food sensitivities or personal sourcing considerations. We thank them and our incredible team, especially our third partner Alison Brushaber, for helping us turn great products into a national brand that is purposeful.”
"Great Texas companies had much to do with fueling success that led to national expansion. Roy's, and then Central Market here in Dallas were the first to provide shelf space to Susan. Success with Central Market opened doors at Whole Foods Market, and their local loan program provided important capital to enable us to make an early equipment purchase. Dallas' Omni Resorts & Hotels discovered Hail Merry early and features product as a part of their Select Guest program, with a gifted snack to healthy travelers.
"Precious retail space requires capital to fulfill. Texas investors, plus friends and family backed us along the way, providing critical growth capital," said Chapin."
Hail Merry desserts and snacks are available nationally at natural grocers and retailers, including Central Market, Whole Foods Market, and select regional grocers such as HEB, Natural Grocers, and Wegmans. They are sold in the dairy, bakery or natural refrigeration sections. The snacks are also available on Virgin America Airlines, and at Omni Hotels & Resorts. Their lineup includes Miracle Tarts, Low Temp Dehydrated Macaroons, Grawnolas, Nuts & Seeds. All stem from plants, and raw plant oils.
As North Texas award winners, Palisi and O’Brien are now eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014 national award. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, California, on November 15, 2014.