By Belinda DiGiambattista, Butter Beans co-founder and CEO

I’m often asked to describe my profession when meeting someone new. When I explain that I founded a company whose mission is to connect children and adults to the food they eat through providing healthy lunch programs and food education, the person to whom I am talking connects immediately with this and declares, “I wish you were in my child’s school and my office! All the parents where I live would love this.”

I feel honored every day to provide jobs in my community that aim to serve school children, teachers, and adults healthy meals. Everyone on our team takes their responsibility seriously knowing we provide fresh vegetables, fruits, proteins and grains that nourish the bodies and minds we feed.

This year, I am proud to share that Butter Beans has found a place on the Inc 5000 fastest growing companies in America, which is based on the past three years of company growth. This achievement comes to us a result of the collective efforts of our committed and passionate team members, as well as the schools and organizations that entrust our company with the care of their meal programs.

There are many reasInc5000galapicwitheditorons to celebrate this occasion, but perhaps the most important reason has to do with what the success of a wellness company like Butter Beans means for our society. Parents, students and workers are voting with their forks every day when they choose to eat a hot, wholesome meal made from scratch and comprised of mostly vegetables, healthy grains, and ABF, hormone-free proteins. They accompany this hot meal with salad, eggs, raw veggies, fruit, homemade granola, yogurt (with no sugar added), and bean spreads like hummus.

Felicia Desrosiers and I started Butter Beans in 2008, in large part to reverse the statistic reported by the Center for Disease Control that “The generation of Americans born in the year 2000 is the first in history to have a shorter life expectancy than its parents.” Improving our children’s eating habits over time by providing a healthy school lunch and experiential food education, moves our country one child closer to reversing this statistic every day.

Being an entrepreneur brings new challenges to bear every day. But with those challenges, come an equal number of reasons to take pride in this work. Seeing the number of jobs these 5,000 companies have created in the past three years acknowledges the payoff for all of the work we do day in and day out to keep our companies alive and thriving. The Inc 5000 companies created a combined one million+ jobs for the US economy over the past three years.

This blog post is dedicated to our employees for making Butter Beans possible and to our customers who trust us to serve their precious jewels every day or who visit our cafeteria at their place of work. Butter Beans will continue to strive for excellent service in all of our schools, while providing our employees with opportunities for growth in this important field of food and wellness. Here’s to the next three years!