My new novel, Julia's Child, will be released at the end of this month. It tells the story of a fictional mom and her comic efforts to launch an organic toddler food company. While doing research for the book, I met some truly amazing real-life moms who run organic food businesses. This is the first in a series of posts about the "mompreneurs" out there making it happen for real and for true.
File this under: where were they when my boys were babies?
Meet Rehana Zamfotis and Michelle Marinis, two New York City moms with five kids and one growing hyper-local business between them. Their unique company, Petit Organics, is the only one in New York to deliver homemade organic baby food right to New Yorkers’ apartment building doors. Never frozen and never canned, the fresh food they make includes recipes like Broccoli, Carrot & Quinoa and Pear, Oat & Cinnamon. For the youngest babies there is Simply Zucchini and Simply Apples, among others.
Before starting the company, Marinis was in the high-pressure commercial real estate business. She saw her child for about an hour each evening. And then, because she wanted him to have fresh baby food, “I spent four or five hours every Sunday in the kitchen steaming food for the week,” she said. By the time her second son came along, she was overwhelmed.
Marinis couldn’t believe that in New York City, there wasn’t a convenient fresh baby food option. When she mentioned her crazy idea of opening a baby food business to Zamfotis, her friend surprised her by saying “let’s do it.”
Zamfotis was willing to quit her marketing job to make the idea a reality. “I was so tired of the daily grind of pushing intangible products.” Along came something she believed in. “I wanted to be a part of it.”
Marinis and Zamfotis have made sure to allow their business to grow slowly. “We’re taking baby steps, if you will,” says Zamfotis. “We’re small right now,” she said “except for Michelle. She’s 38 weeks.”
Even as their families grow, the gentle pace of business growth keeps things under control. “We do it because we love it,” says Marinis.
And it shows. You can read more about the company here.