Annie Withey started Annie’s with a one mission: to create tasty organic food that wouldn’t break your bank. With her partner Andrew Martin, they launched the company in 1989 and are known for providing people with healthy and delicious macaroni and cheese. Almost 30 years later, Annie’s has emerged as a clear leader in affordable, natural, organic, comfort foods.
The start of Annie’s
During the 1990s, Annie’s got their start by selling their homemade mac and cheese to independently owned natural food shops and regional supermarkets in the New England area. Slowly but surely, the buzz around Annie’s food grew as they amassed a large following by word of mouth.
The rise of Annie’s
Annie’s customers were so passionate, they collectively bought a small minority share of the company in the mid 90s. That influx of cash directly from their fans enabled Annie’s to to increase production.
Absolute accessibility with her customers was a high priority, so she wrote tiny manifestos and placed them on the back of each box along with her phone number, encouraging them to connect with her. Although her number may no longer be printed, Annie still writes the letters printed on the back of the box and responds to some user correspondence.
Annie Withey remains the company's corporate conscience and currently lives on her farm in Connecticut with her family, where she grows organic vegetables for her local farmer’s market and food co-op.
Her pet Dutch rabbit, Bernie, was chosen to be the company mascot, which is seen on every box of pasta. Withey believed that her precious Bernie best represented the ideals of her company: simplicity, care, and goodness.
Tell me about the products that Annie’s sells
Annie’s is probably best known for their macaroni and cheese. It’s full of creamy richness and flavor, using only the purest cheese, no artificial flavors or synthetic colors, and is made only from cruelty-free cows that have not been treated with GMOs or growth hormones such as rBST.
Annie’s makes a delicious mac and cheese meal that you can feel good about having. Here’s why:
- Annie’s macaroni and cheese is proudly made in the USA from their facilities in Berkeley, California.
- Annie’s only uses cruelty free animals to make their foods.
- They believe in fair-trade and only use farmers that have been paid fairly.
- No additives, preservatives, or artificial synthetic colors are used.
- Your purchase directly supports food charities and agricultural education.
- The box the pasta comes in can easily be recycled.
What else does Annie’s sell?
Annie’s may be best known for their macaroni and cheese, but that’s not the the only thing they do. Here is a list of some other things that they sell.
Baking: Treat yourself to a deliciously warm fresh pastry. The best part of it all is that Annie’s baking goods are made with the same commitment to healthy excellence and everything is certified organic.
- Organic Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
- Organic Cinnamon Rolls with Icing
- Organic Crescent Rolls
- Organic Double Chocolate Brownie Mix
- Organic Pancake & Waffle Mix
Cereals: There are a couple things needed in the morning upon waking up: A freshly brewed cup of coffee and a hearty bowl of cereal. Made with things like whole grain oats and certified fair trade cacao, cereals by Annie’s are the best way to get your day started.
- Organic Berry Bunnies Cereal
- Organic Cocoa Bunnies Cereal
- Organic Frosted Oat Flakes Cereal
Pastas: While it’s known that Annie’s makes a mean mac and cheese, they also make a pretty darn good fettuccine as well. Annie’s makes an assortment of traditional pastas really well and what's amazing is that they cook quickly.
- Bernie O's Pasta in Tomato & Cheese Sauce
- Cheesy Ravioli in Tomato & Cheese Sauce
- Curly Fettuccine with White Cheddar & Broccoli Sauce
- Penne Pasta with Alfredo Sauce
- Rotini Pasta with Three Cheese Sauce
Salad dressings: Do you know what goes great with pasta or makes a great meal all by itself? A hearty garden salad. Using organic ingredients, Annie’s makes all sorts of heart-healthy salad dressings.
- Organic Red Wine & Olive Oil Vinaigrette
- Organic Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette
- Organic Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette
- Organic Shiitake & Sesame Vinaigrette
- Organic Thousand Island Dressing
Snacks: Annie’s has you covered with tasty organic and gluten-free snacks to help you tackle whatever the day has in store. From cheesy to chocolate to savory to sweet, there is a tasty option for whatever you’re craving:
- Cheddar Bunnies
- Gluten Free Double Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
- Oatmeal Cookie Bites
- Organic Pretzel Bunnies
- Organic Snack Mix
Soups: Sometimes, a warm hearty bowl of soup is just what you’re looking for on those chilly days or nights. Annie’s makes their soups comforting and delicious, along with things like organic chickens and tomatoes and absolutely no MSG.
- Organic Bunny Pasta & Chicken Broth Soup
- Organic Chicken Noodle Soup
- Organic Creamy Tomato & Bunny Pasta Soup
- Organic Star Pasta & Chicken Soup
- Organic Tomato Soup
Yogurts: Annie’s makes their yogurt without synthetic colors or preservatives. Instead they are made of simple vanilla extract and pure fruits such as blueberries and strawberries.
- Organic Just Plain Good Whole Milk Yogurt
- Organic Summer Strawberry Whole Milk Yogurt Tubes
- Organic Very Vanilla Whole Milk Yogurt
Annie’s currently recycles almost 75% of their waste, not to mention their food is shipped out in boxes that are completely recyclable as well. Annie’s also strongly believes in culinary education and have spent over 2 million dollars investing in various programs. Let’s take a look:
Culinary education: Annie’s works extensively with FoodCorps, a nationwide team that provides children with culinary education and caters high-quality, locally grown food into the cafeterias of public schools.
School gardens: Annie’s thoroughly believes in farming. So much that Annie’s helps fund gardening projects at public schools and communities in need. Since 2008, the company has funded more than 350 public gardens across the nation.
Agricultural scholarships: Annie’s is a proud supporter of the next generation of farmers that adhere to practices of sustainable farming. This is why every year, Annie’s awards scholarships to agricultural and farming students through their Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship program.
Volunteering: Annie’s has a volunteering system in which their employees can work with organizations that provide a worthwhile cause. Employees of Annie’s find great pride in their volunteer work with soup kitchens and food banks throughout Northern California.