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Jackson's Honest Founders Honor Legacy of Son
New York Ag Connection - 10/05/2017

Jackson's Honest was founded in the kitchen of the Reamer's Crested Butte, Colo., home as a way to combat a previously undiagnosed illness in their eldest child, Jackson, for whom the Company is named. Through intense trial and error, they engineered a fat-centered diet with an emphasis on coconut oil and other ancestral fats, alleviating many of Jackson's most severe symptoms. Borne out of the desire to share Jackson's life story, Megan and Scott Reamer launched Jackson's Honest in late 2012. As part of their amazing journey, the Reamer's were selected to appear earlier this week on ABC Television's Shark Tank where their vision and presentation resulted in a business partnership with "Guest Shark" Rohan Oza, mastermind behind some of the most iconic brands in today's consumer space, often referred to as "The Hollywood Brandfather".

The Reamer's first child, Jackson, born in 2001, appeared to be healthy and happy. Inexplicably, by his 4th birthday, he was ravaged by an unidentified illness which not only robbed Jackson of his ability to walk and talk, but his motor skills had deteriorated so rapidly it left him at a mere 17 pounds.

Desperate for answers, Megan and Scott took Jackson to the country's best hospitals and specialists, only to leave disappointed and discouraged time and time again, without a diagnosis. Without a diagnosis, there could be no cure. Thus, they were simply told to "play around with his diet to see if you can get him to gain weight."

Determined to help their son, Megan and Scott feverishly researched food properties and nutritional plans, switching Jackson to a fat-centered diet that was low in carbohydrates, with an emphasis on coconut oil and other ancestral fats.

While Scott Reamer majored in Chemical Engineering in Lafayette College, based in Easton, Pa. and with a campus in New York City, he's always worked in finance, yet approached feeding Jackson like a scientific equation that could be solved. "People definitely thought we were nuts, but they were also trying to be supportive because they knew we were in a desperate place," Reamer recalled. And then it began to work.

They cooked everything, for what was now a family of six, in coconut oil, the potato chips fast emerging as a fan favorite. The diet was a success in that it stabilized Jackson, who was eventually diagnosed as suffering from the incredibly rare Aicardi-Goutieres Syndrome, a genetic inflammatory autoimmune disease affecting the brain for which there is no known cure.

Armed with the success of Jackson's stabilization, and buoyed by encouragement from family and friends, Megan and Scott founded Jackson's Honest in 2012.

"We really wanted to share Jackson's story with a much wider audience", recalls Megan Reamer, "and as we went down that path, we realized the opportunity was enormous."

The Jackson's Honest story, mission and products have resonated with retailers and consumers nationwide. From their first regional distribution in the Rocky Mountains in 2014, the company has expanded to more than 4,000 grocery stores, hotels, restaurants, corporate cafeterias, colleges and convenience stores throughout the country, including national distribution in Whole Foods and Sprouts. Jackson's Honest is one of the fastest growing natural snack food companies in the US, having grown from $1 million in sales in 2014 to more than $10 million in revenue in 2016, which helped land them on Shark Tank. The company is fundamentally disrupting the $20 billion snack food industry.

The Reamers Shark Tank segment was filmed in June. In August, ABC sent a crew to their home in Crested Butte, Colorado to film a "home package." Three days later, tragically and unexpectedly, Jackson passed away.

According to Scott Reamer, "Jackson's legacy will live on in the company his struggle founded. And that's as strong a salve as can be applied to our absolutely broken hearts."

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