Five years ago, Jennifer Broe was feeding her then 6 month old daughter when inspiration struck. The jarred food that she was feeding her daughter was well below her own expectation for what her daughter should eat. Even after researching the problem, she was still less than satisfied with the options available to her. According to Calgary Herald, she created her own solution.
Since Broe has a passion for cooking, she began making her own baby food combos such as Fruity Chicken & Rice, using organic ingredients. The creations were nutritious and delicious, and daughter Finley loved them.
When other moms in her play group started requesting baby food from Broe, she realized there must be a huge market for yummy organic baby food made without added sugar, fillers or thickeners. Baby Gourmet was born .
Broe began selling her baby food at the Calgary Farmers’ Market in 2006. By 2008, demand was so great Broe, who had already expanded the Baby Gourmet kitchen twice, couldn’t keep up. She decided to retreat from the market and figure out how to go big.
Broe used her business background to plan and then build an infrastructure within the organization, including a mass production facility in Ontario that makes and packs Baby Gourmet’s nine flavours in BPA-free, resealable pouches. She hired a full-time staff of 10 that helps market and distribute it.
Finally, she found a supplier that could deliver her product to the most moms for the best price: Walmart.
The discount retailer was Baby Gourmet’s first sales pitch. “We started at the top,” says Broe, who walked out of her first meeting with Wal-Mart with a verbal contract.
Photo from Baby Gourmet