Every one of us has had a dream. Whether it’s been as simple as a kiss from a high school crush, or as grand as singing on Broadway, to dream is an essential part of our lives. Dreaming is easy, though. Turning that dream into a reality is the hard part. It takes the perfect combination of ingredients: a little luck, a lot of hard work, some help, and a ton of persistence. And without any one of those key ingredients, the dream may never come true.

It’s a little like making the perfect snack. Every dash of seasoning, every spin of the mixer, and every second in the oven are essential to the final product. Sure the analogy’s a bit of a stretch, but it’s one that couldn’t be more appropriate in describing the creation of Happy Herbert’s line of premium snacks and the journey Gary Plutchok has taken to create it.

For Gary, his own dream began in Brooklyn, at a place most people try to forget, the school cafeteria. Gary sat surrounded by his sixth-grade classmates, and their respective range of lunches - the hot lunch kids with Salisbury steaks and chicken pot pies, the bagged-lunchers with their cartons of milk and smushed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Regardless of their form, each lunch was also accompanied by a wide variety of snacks. Some munched on chocolate chip cookies or melting candy bars, others, though without as much enthusiasm, on pears, apples and carrot sticks.

The junk food-eaters looked quite content as they devoured their snacks, only to grow sluggish and gloomy after their lunchtime gluttony. On the other hand, the vegetable-eaters, while maybe avoiding the eventual potbellies of their classmates, enjoyed their lunch about as much as, well, anyone enjoys eating raw broccoli. Watching these varied expressions, a light bulb went on in Gary’s head, one that lit up visions of tasty and fun-to-eat snacks that also happened to be wholesome.

“Fellow students, there must be some middle ground to the snack quandary that faces us,” he announced to his classmates (as you can gather, Gary was bright for his age). “One of the keys to happiness is eating foods that taste good and are fun to eat, but ones that also are healthy and wholesome. I believe there is a solution to this problem out there – a tasty, all natural solution. And through hard work and dedication, I will find it!"

As is the case with many innovators, Gary’s groundbreaking vision was met with skepticism and even anger. The junk food kids claimed nothing healthy would ever be tasty. And in a stroke of bi-partisan sixth-grade agreement, the carrot stick and broccoli kids agreed that nothing tasty could ever be healthy. When one classmate voiced this strong belief by heaving a fudge-covered brownie at Gary’s head, the angry mob quickly followed suit. Gary ducked behind a corner of the cafeteria to escape a barrage of flying snack foods as a sharply aimed stalk of celery bounced off his ear. He caught his breath around the corner, and brushed the debris of the attack off his clothes. It was clear Gary had been deemed a radical for his modern thoughts, and it was at that moment that the dream almost came crashing down – were it not for the wisdom of a young, orange-haired fellow, wearing slick new overalls and an ear-to-ear smile.

“I couldn’t help but overhear your speech,” the man said, pulling Gary aside to safety. Gary felt a charge of excitement. The man seemed to radiate happiness, his big smile lighting the cafeteria like a human sunlamp. A nametag on his overalls read “Herbert.”

“I just started working in the kitchen here, and I believe you might be on to something,” the man continued. “You see, friend, I too believe there must be a better way to snack, and I can tell by your passion, you may just be the one to find it. Here’s some valuable advice: follow your dreams every day, wear a smile come what may and help people along the way. ”

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