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-Name of company?
Tiny Sprouts Foods Inc.
-Kid(s) and Ages?
Kim – 3 year old and one on the way!
Tina – 7 year old & 4 year old
-Where do you live/are you located?
New Jersey USA
-Tell us what your mission is!
Tiny Sprouts Foods is a minority female-founded children’s nutrition company focused on producing easy, nutrient-rich products that offer functional health benefits to the developing child. Our range of Organic Superseed Boosters are blends of cold-milled seeds, probiotics and other superfoods that can be added to any food to support a child’s daily nutrient needs, combat common ailments from constipation to the cold & flu, and even reduce risk of future disease.
We started this business to help children to have access to better nutrition so they can enjoy healthful lives. American children are well-fed but undernourished; high-nutrient needs combined with picky-eating habits and poor or restrictive diets have resulted in over 90% not meeting daily needs of at least one nutrient. This can lead to impacted health outcomes; from fatigue, poor immune health and even chronic disease like obesity and diabetes both which are at an all-time high for children. Our products easily boost nutrition when mixed into favorite foods and usually without a child even noticing! Just one serving adds fiber, protein, healthy omega-3 fats, calcium and so many more nutrients that are unfortunately not common in many existing baby and children’s foods. We offer easy, unnoticeable nutrition for children and peace of mind for parents.
We stand differentiated from our competitors as we are the first and only seed brand that has been created for children. Our products are designed in collaboration with pediatric exerts using all organic, non-GMO and vegan ingredients with no added sugars, salts, preservatives, or artificial flavors. We include functional ingredients like probiotics and vitamin D because of the benefits they offer children for immune and digestive health. Product purity and safety are becoming increasingly important to parents, and we address this by testing for heavy metals and microbials by a lab accredited by the Baby Food Council. Competitive products are usually not suitable for children as they often add sugars or preservatives, many exceed the heavy metal limits set by California Prop 65 and they usually don’t include functional ingredients nor serving sizes and nutrition facts customized for children’s age groups.
Tina & I have been best friends for over 25 years and actually live-in and run this business from separate countries – I am based in NJ, USA and Tina in our hometown of Toronto, Canada! We are a minority and female-founded cross-border business! We both left our stable long-term corporate careers with L’Oreal & Hersheys to make our vision a reality!
-How and why did you start your business?
I grew up at a time when kids ate everything and experienced nutrient deficiencies growing up which led to poor immune health and even severe digestive issues in my early 20’s. When GI specialists felt they could no longer help me is when I really started taking my nutrition seriously and I spent hours learning how to improve my health. Incorporating seeds and other superfoods into my diet changed my life and within a year helped reverse issues which were deemed permanent by specialists. So, when I became a Mom it was only natural for me to include these foods into my daughters diet. Tina, co-founder and best friend had similar health struggles growing up and common ‘mom’ challenges with feeding and picky eating with her kids, and seeds came to the rescue again! It was a no-brainer – they are easy to hide due to their neutral color, taste and texture and provide an abundance of nutrients in a tiny serving. It left us wondering why there were no seed and superfood products designed for children when they are the ones who could benefit from their usage the most. Especially with the rising nutrient deficiencies in children (over 90% of toddlers don’t meet their recommended daily intake of at least one nutrient) and the corresponding rising rates of chronic disease in children (1 in 5 are clinically obese and 1 in 3 at risk of diabetes). Tiny Sprouts Organic Superseed Boosters was born from this very notion.
-When did you start your business? How has the pandemic affected it?
We officially incorporated in August 2020 in the heat of the covid pandemic. The pandemic definitely impacted our pre-launch activities due to supply chain shortages and suppliers/partners being closed for extended periods. This caused several delays in the official launch to market.
-How might your business change when the pandemic is over (if at all)?
The pandemic is now having a positive impact on our business as parents have been able to spend more time learning about the importance of good nutrition for their children and searching out more immune-boosting solutions.
-What would someone be surprised to learn about your business?
We are the first and only seed brand that has been designed for children! We collaborated with pediatric experts and included probiotics and vitamin-D – two key functional ingredients that support good health in children. And we are heavy metal tested and one of the only seed brands that does not require a California prop 65 label.
-What is one piece of advice for new business owners that you wish someone told you beforehand?
That everything takes longer and costs a lot more than you initially thought!
-When you have time to yourself, what do you like to do that isn’t business related?
Yoga/Meditation, reading, exercising and spending time with our kids!
-How do you handle running your business and raising your children? Any #parenthacks to share?
Managing our children while starting a business has been TOUGH! Especially as they have been home A LOT because of the pandemic and corresponding school closures! We both had to take time away from our business to prioritize the needs of our children because they should always come first. This meant we are working 7 days a week and either waking up really early to work (at one point I was starting my day at 4:30am to get work done before my daughter woke up) or Tina was staying up really late (or even working through the night) because building Tiny Sprouts is our passion and it also needs the time, nurturing and attention to grow. The #parenthack we had to use when on a zoom call was unfortunately leveraging the iPad with their favorite show to ensure they would’nt be joining the attendees on screen!
-Do you have parent guilt? How do you combat it?
Parent guilt is thankfully minimal because we both agreed when we stated this business that we would always put the needs of our children first. Family dinner times remain uninterrupted, extracurricular activities and special events always remain a priority etc. We are lucky because we are a team of 2 moms and so can divide and conquer – when one of us is unavailable to due childrens commitments, the other is managing the immediate needs of the business.
-Last show you binged?
This is Us
-Last book you read?
The Essential Law of Attraction
-Go-To (Family) Dinner?
Three-bean veggie chilli
-Favorite Adult Beverage?
-Favorite Take out?
Any Tiny Sprouts baked goods recipe!