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When Sophie Baron had a baby, she discovered that the resources, tools and products for the modern parent were really lacking. That’s why she founded Mamamade, along with her husband Ian. Mamamade is a fast-growing organic, plant-based subscription service of baby and toddler meals, but that’s not all.
With a loyal community of over 40,000 followers, Mamamade has created a whole digital community of parents, including advice, resources, events and 121 coaching to support each and every customer. We sat down with Sophie to find out more.
What were you doing prior to founding this business and what inspired you to take the entrepreneurship route?
After undertaking a PHD in London, I ventured into the startup world, becoming the Head of Operations for a leading tech company in the employee benefits space.
I never planned to become an entrepreneur. I started Mamamade out of my home kitchen because I felt completely undersupported as a new parent – and none of the existing legacy brands felt relevant to me. Mamamade’s grown organically to the movement it is today with 40k parents in our community all sharing the same pain points.
Can you talk about some parenting trends and how Mamamade caters to these?
Legacy companies simply aren’t staying on top of the needs of modern parents – and parents are more demanding than ever for quality products and experiences. We’re taking on the $100bn child nutrition and wellness category with products that parents can feel truly good about, underpinned by the community and resources new parents crave.
How have you built Mamamade to be scalable?
From the outset, our mission has been to help as many parents a possible. With support from investors such as the founder of DesignMyNight, allplants, Made, Heals and the backers of Pollen and Grace, we are building a team who have global ambitions. Being a digital native company, means we are constantly using or building tools to help us scale faster and more efficiently.
What has growth looked like to date for the business?
Extremely fast paced and mostly organic! What started from my kitchen as an Instagram business is now a nation-wide community of over 40,000 parents giving it their best shot. We bootstrapped for the first year or so, and raised our first round of investment to help us keep up with the demand we were seeing.
What makes Mamamade a better choice compared to other competitors in the market?
From a brand and community perspective, no other brand is really speaking to the parent. Most brands out there speak to the child, in ways that feel twee for an adult and that can also make new parents feel unseen.
We are a community brand, not a product led brand. From 1-1 coaching, digital resources, Mamamade is constantly building new tools and resources to help the modern parent.
From a quality perspective, the vast majority of baby food on the market – more than ⅔ – is considered an ultra-high-processed food and considered unfit for purpose by Public Health England. It’s not fair that parents – who are increasingly time-strapped, busy, and under-supported – have had to rely on these products
What has been your proudest achievement/s to date?
Building out our huge community and seeing how many of them have joined our journey in a more formal way by investing as part of this crowdfund. It’s extra motivating and exciting to see how much Mamamade means to our customers and community.
Pushing past the fear of putting out our first product and as a female founder, raising money. Seeing so many of our customer investing in Mamamade, is validation beyond comprehension.
What do you have coming up for Mamamade in the future that you’re excited about?
We are just getting started! Everything we have built to date has been influenced by our community. Mamamade will be launching some exciting non food products early next year and bolstering out our digital offering, to further support parents, wherever they are.
What could an exit strategy look like?
The future of Mamamade will always have the community at front of mind. Part of our strategy is to ensure the community are always involved. There are the obvious routes of a trade sale or IPO and we will decide what is right in the future that ensure the integrity of what we are doing is maintained.
A few personal ones:
When you’re not working, what are you doing?
Raising a young family and running Mamamade has been a real challenge in creating space for both. Taking care of my wellbeing is high up on the list, going for walks, listening to podcasts, seeing friends and of course cooking.
Apart from Mamamade, what are some of your favourite brands for parents?
I love Spanx, Beauty Pie and any woman run and founded brands.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far building Mamamade?
That sometimes in business, you have to slow down and pull back if you want to go fast and far. I’m impatient by nature, but this has been a really important lesson. It’s ok to take time with things.
To find out more and invest in Mamamade, check out the pitch.