BROOKLYN, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 07: Jennifer Garner, Co-founder and Chief Brand Officer, Once Upon a Farm attends Once Upon A Farm Refrigerated Oat Bar Launch Event at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge on October 07, 2023 in Brooklyn, New York.
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Once Upon A Farm

Jennifer Garner Turned Her Family's Oklahoma Farm Into a Business Empire

Jennifer Garner turned her family's Oklahoma farm into a profitable business.

Jennifer Garner just might be one of the most likable people in Hollywood. Her Instagram account is full of relatable content about being a mom— drowning in laundry, striking a work-life balance and so on. But one of the coolest stories about the popular celebrity is how she saved her family's farm and turned it into a thriving business — Once Upon a Farm Organics.

Oklahoma born and West Virginia-raised, Jennifer's from humble beginnings. During a Jan. 2024 appearance on "The Kelly Clarkson Show," she admitted that nobody gets starstruck around her back home in West Virgina.

"I grew up with everybody at the game," she said, likening sporting events there to attending matches of the National Women's Soccer League team she invests in, Angel City FC. "That's my high school, that's my sister, that's my town. They've all known me— they are not impressed."

Even as she chased fame, Jennifer remained humble. As the former "Alias" star told Clarkson in 2023, she often did laundry for her 35 cast mates in a Shakespeare production.

As for Oklahoma, there's where Jennifer's taken the reigns of her family's longtime property. Read on to learn more about the farm as well as Garner's health food company, which focuses on providing nutritious and organic snacks for kids.

A Nearly 90-Year Legacy

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 25:  Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer for Once Upon a Farm Jennifer Garner speaks onstage for "Farm?

Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Fast Company

Garner's mother, Patricia English Garner, grew up on the family farm in Locust Grove, Okla. Her parents —and Jennifer's grandparents— had purchased the land in 1936 with her father's bonus from fighting in World War I. Patricia explained to Southern Living that her parents had about $700 to purchase the land at the time.

"My parents didn't even have a car, so when they heard about the land that was for sale, they hired someone to drive them to the property," Patricia said. "The farm consisted of a two-room house and 20 acres—minus 1 acre at the heart of the property, which was a Native American cemetery. Mother told me the story of Dad leaning on his heels and negotiating all day over $20. When they finally agreed on a price, the deal was sealed, and the land was purchased. It's been in our family ever since."

A Full-Time Job

CULVER CITY, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 09: Jennifer Garner attends 2019 Baby2Baby Gala Presented By Paul Mitchell  at 3LABS on November 09, 2019 in Culver City, California.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

For years the farm didn't have running water or indoor plumbing, yet it was incredibly special to the family. Over the years, it has been sold to various family members before Jennifer purchased the land in 2017 to keep her mother's memories alive. She also had plans to make the farm profitable. Her uncle Robert and aunt Janet had been the previous owners, and Jennifer hired them on to maintain the farm full time.

The land hadn't been planted on for 40 years, so they got to work. There were plenty of memories there from times when Patricia and her six siblings sold pecans and grew lettuce, radishes and potatoes. But now, there was a whole new future in store for the aproperty.

A Profitable Business

ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 09: Jennifer Garner makes appearance at Expo West to celebrate her organic food line "Once Upon A Farm" at Anaheim Convention Center on March 9, 2023 in Anaheim, California.

JB Lacroix/Getty Images

Jennifer c0-founded Once Upon a Farm with Ari Raz, John Foraker and Cassandra Curtis with the dream of creating a special, new kind of baby food. The company's website explains its vision and its focus on baby wellness.

"Once upon a time... we dreamed of bringing baby food back to the roots with organic fruits and veggies harvested from local farmers, blended with love and served fresh from the fridge," the website reads. "We dreamed of feeling less stressed about mealtimes because we could feed our little ones foods that give them all the nutrients they need - and then some! We dreamed of a company filled with co-workers we're happy to spend time with every day and that offers the balance between work and life that every parent needs. Now, with Once Upon a Farm, our dream has come true."

Jennifer told Southern Living that it was important for her to get healthy baby food options to busy parents.

"Getting homemade food in the hands of busy moms is important to me," she said.

Now, after the company first planted a harvest in 2018, business is better than ever. The organic baby food pouches have taken off. You can find them in the refrigerated section at a number of retailers, including Target, Whole Foods, Walmart, Publix, Kroger or even through the website. They have tons of deliciously flavored purees, all without added sugar — Mama Bear Blueberry, Straight From The Apple Tree, Magic Velvet Mango, Strawberry Banana, Farmer Jen's Sweet Potato Pie, Wild Rumpus Avocad, and even veggie blends like Green Kale & Apples. You won't find any preservatives, added sugar, dairy, GMOs, or anything artificial in this baby food.

This isn't just another applesauce brand; this baby food is farm fresh and really is something special built on the memories of Jennifer Garner's family.

New Products for 2024

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 07: Jennifer Garner, Co-founder and Chief Brand Officer, Once Upon a Farm attends Once Upon A Farm Refrigerated Oat Bar Launch Event at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge on October 07, 2023 in Brooklyn, New York.

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Once Upon A Farm/ Once Upon a Farm

On Jan. 23, 2024, the company unveiled its introductory line of A2/A2 whole milk shakes. There's three introductory flavors: Strawberry Crème, Triple Berry and Banana Crème.

According to a press release, the milk is sourced from Alexandre Family Farm. Each no-sugar-added snack is made with farm-fresh fruits and veggies.

"At Once Upon a Farm, we are committed to maximizing nutrition for our customers, little and big," Garner said in a press release."This announcement is so exciting we are dancing in the barn — we are launching scrumptious, sumptuous, A2/A2 Whole Milk Shakes, in partnership with Alexandre Family Farms. You asked and boy, are we excited to share with you."

"We are so honored to partner with Once Upon a Farm on their A2/A2 Whole Milk Shakes featuring our A2/A2 organic whole milk known for its easily digestible protein," said Alexandre Family Farm's Stephanie Alexandre. "Our shared passion for delivering the best organic food, especially through nutritious whole milk products for growing children, drove us to partner from the very beginning. As the first certified regenerative, organic and humane dairy in the US, we admire the commitment and leadership of Once Upon a Farm in shaping a healthier future for children through its innovative dairy products!"

A second dairy product, whole milk smoothies, will hit shelves in February. Those, too, will be available in three flavors: Banana Berry Blast, Mango Pear-adise and Orange Squeeze.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in 2020. 

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