Ashley Davies believes her Happy Grub success helps on Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars, interview

Ashley Davies. © 2023 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Michael Becker/FOX.
Ashley Davies. © 2023 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Michael Becker/FOX. /

When Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars premiered, many FOX culinary competition fans were curious to see how the participants would handle each week’s challenges. Although far from a cooking competition, the food entrepreneurs must put their collective knowledge to the test while balancing each other’s personalities. For Ashley Davies of Happy Grub, she believed that her approach to the experience reflects how she would act in any business situation.

For those unfamiliar with Happy Grub, the brand offers squeezable instant pancake mixes. Ashley Davies, the brand’s CEO, discussed how she conceptualized the idea. While the product filled a void in the marketplace, it was more than just another breakfast item on the shelf.

Ashley said, “I wanted to make memories and less messes in the kitchen. It became an opportunity to cook and not worry about the mess. I wanted to focus on that parent/child interaction that we all desperately hope for as parents but sometimes is not present because of life’s busy days. Breakfast is just the beginning and Happy Grub is on the right path.”

Although the brand has much room to grow, Ashley saw a void in the marketplace and fixed it. As she mentioned, “a lot of our success was contributed to the fact that we have changed a category that has not been changed in a long time. If you go into the grocery store, you see the pancake brands that have been on the shelf for a long time. There has been no innovation. With Happy Grub, we focus on what makes us different and that is how we grew a new area in the breakfast category.”

Like many of the food entrepreneurs in Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars competition, Ashley used the term “disrupt” when discussing her business strategy. That concept of being willing to push a different conversation, set a different path, and satisfy a need that the customer realized that they wanted is vital to getting a new brand attention.

Ashley Davies Gordon Ramsay's Food Stars
GORDON RAMSAY’S FOOD STARS: Contestant Ashley in the “Campfire Feast” episode of GORDON RAMSAY’S FOOD STARS airing Wednesday, June 21 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. 2022 Fox Media LLC. CR: Greg Gayne/FOX /

Although Ashley has a successful and expanding business outside of FOX’s Gordon Ramsay Food Stars competition, earning that investment is the goal of everyone on the show. It is more than just the monetary component. The Ramsay stamp of approval sets any food business apart from the rest.

When asked why she made a good candidate for Ramsay’s backing, Ashley said, “I think when you’re a person who can be self-taught and use that knowledge to run a business is something that Gordon wanted. He is looking for someone who can adapt, someone who wants to build brands with him, someone who wants to be a partner with him. I think my experience in building Happy Grub helped me success in the show.”

Beyond the business acumen, Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars has an element of interpersonal skills to each challenge. While everyone wants to reap the glory, managing those interactions is vital to moving into the next challenge.

When asked about the team dynamic, Ashley mentioned that she always put herself “in a position where you can be respectful to others. While there are learning lessons and ways to show personal strength, it is not to the expense of others. I always want to treat others with respect and know that my actions would be something that my friends and family would be proud to see.”

Looking back at the competition, Ashley mentioned that the St. Jude challenge resonated with her. She mentioned, “It gave me a different type of experience that I haven’t been exposed to before.” While she has much experience interacting with customers, the charitable aspect and the organization commitment to helping others impacted her company. She mentioned that Happy Grub supports a charitable organization which not only helps that charity thrive but makes her, her employees, and her business better for it.

Ashley Davies Gordon Ramsay's Food Stars
GORDON RAMSAY’S FOOD STARS: Show contestants in the “Host With The Most” episode of GORDON RAMSAY’S FOOD STARS airing Wednesday, May 31 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. 2022 Fox Media LLC. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FOX /

Listening, hearing, and implementing that feedback is critical for any successful business as well as staying in the Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars competition. While Happy Grub might have disrupted the pancake category, it looks beyond that single shelf for growth. Whether it is more pancake flavors or expanding into the baking mixes category, it seems that Happy Grub will be seen in more Walmart, Sam’s Club and more shelves.

Although Ashley Davies mentioned that it was hard being away from her family during filming, it was a sacrifice that she was willing to take. Showing not only her family but herself that a successful entrepreneur can embrace the hard choice is vital for any food business. If the journey was easy, more people would be willing to take that first step.

Ashley Davies is the CEO of Happy Grub. The squeezable pancake mixes can be found at various retailers and on Amazon.

Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars airs Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. ET on FOX. Episodes can be streamed on Hulu.