Forty Under 40: Fran Free

by Talk Business & Politics ([email protected]) 189 views 

Make no mistake. She’s a Ding Dong Momma from Dumas. That means she knows her way around a farm and the thick Delta soil is in her blood.

Fran Free, founder of Oh Baby Foods Inc., took her birthright and polished it up quite a bit. She has a bachelor’s degree in environmental soil and water science, and a master’s in agricultural economics.

When it came time to figure out what to feed her first child, Lucy, she looked at the options with an expert’s eye. Nothing impressed her so she created her own brand of organic, domestically-sourced baby puree. When Lucy turned a year old, on Nov. 13, 2009, Oh Baby Foods was launched.

Since then the company has blossomed into a national brand that produces half a million units every six to nine months at a facility in California. Distributed in over 200 stores, Oh Baby Foods comes in six formulas, from “Pearfecto” to “Wise Punkin.”

The company has gone beyond what Free can do on her own. She’s now looking for a chief operating officer so she can concentrate on sales and customer development. 

Free said she never imagined hitting the big time. But being from a farm in Dumas, she was sure of one thing.

“I’ve always known that whatever I would do would involve agriculture,” she said. “That’s my legacy.”