After graduating with a B.S. in Paper Science and Engineering from the University of Minnesota, John L. Holahan began his career in Chicago with a division of Merck & Co., Inc.
When the division was sold to Monsanto, Holahan moved to St. Louis with more than three years of technical service experience including sales, marketing, and product management in the industrial ingredients industry.
While attending Washington University’s Executive MBA program in 2000, John Holahan met John Fiala. They teamed up on a class project that required them to develop a business plan.
Not affect taste
Not affect appearance
Mix easily with everyday, common utensils
Be ready to drink immediately after mixing
Work with as many beverages as possible
Minimize chances of staff errors
He mixed the first batch in his kitchen and showed it to the speech pathologists at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Their enthusiasm for the concept inspired Holahan to fully develop the product. Clinical field reports, showed that patients with swallowing disorders drank more liquids when they were mixed with SimplyThick and better complied with their dietary directives.
After graduation from Washington University’s Executive MBA program, Holahan and Fiala formed their corporation with a name only an engineer could love (Phagia-Gel, LLC). SimplyThick was launched at the American Dietetic Association Food and Nutrition Conference and Exhibition in St. Louis. After launch, SimplyThick began sales and shortly after the company was renamed to match its revolutionary product – SimplyThick, LLC.
John Holahan’s goals for his product were a tall order, but they met those goals. And after 16 years and 750 million servings, SimplyThick can say that they’ve changed the industry. Over time, they haven’t stopped improving their product. SimplyThick has reduced preservatives, improved the taste profile, and re-invented their packaging.
In February 2018, SimplyThick EasyMix was launched to solve the one remaining issue – ease of mixing.