9) Launch day at the Del Ray Farmer’s Market in Alexandria VA. I awoke at 5 am to make a trip to our commercial kitchen I was renting at the time to pull product out of the freezer and have the stand set up by 7 am. After seven months of full-time business planning, it was awesome to see everything come together that morning on that sunny day in late May 2006. My family and friends came to support me and even more fun was meeting our first customers. We still have our first dollar from that day framed on our wall. It’s a day that is crystal clear in my memory.
8) Having a sales background, the thought of getting my foot in the door of our first retailers was daunting but a very fun challenge for me. Whole Foods Mid-Atlantic’s buyer was my first buyer meeting. She said she’d like to put our foods into their 35+ stores in the region. I took a deep breath and said, “I don’t think we can do that right now because we’re making it all by hand. Lets start with the 8 stores in Virginia then grow together into the other stores.” The rest is history. Whole Foods Mid-Atlantic and Mom Made have now been working together for 8.5 years. We are forever grateful for their strong support of our brand.
7) Seeing our product in the freezer of a new retailer. It is a long, tenuous process to sell to a new retailer. Months, sometimes years. It’s so rewarding to see Mom Made in a new home, knowing that new consumers will discover our products.
6) Moving from our basement in our home to a REAL office. It became official the day the Mom Made logo went up on the front door of the office. Walking through the Mom Made door every morning, I pinch myself at how lucky I am to get to work with such an amazing team and towards a mission of making kids healthier with our organic foods.
5) Hiring new team members. It’s tough to find individuals who hold the experience you’re looking for but also the passion for the mission of what Mom Made stands for. I remember clearly the first day of each of my colleagues joined the Mom Made team. I am so fortunate to work with such a talented group of dedicated professionals.
4) Support from my family, my husband and brother especially. My brother is a chef and helped in the early days with getting my home made recipes ready for large portions. He and his wife (who’s also a chef) have been very helpful along the way. My husband is frequently asked whether he works for Mom Made. His reply is that he’s the Chief Morale Officer. It’s so true and has been a critical piece for me personally on this journey but also as a sounding board for Mom Made as we’ve grown.
3) Launching a new product. It takes months (if not years in a few cases) to concept,test, design, produce and sell a new product to be ready for retail. Our most recent product launch was Gluten Free Cheesy Mac. Being onsite in our facility when the first products come off the line is very exciting.
2) Customer letters make our whole team happy. One day we received a letter from the Indiana mother of 5-year old, Adler, who has brain cancer. Adler had no appetite but his favorite food was Mom Made’s Beef & Cheese Meatball Bites. We immediately stopped what we were doing and put an enormous case of meatballs in the mail with some fun goodies for Adler. We continue to keep Adler in our thoughts and prayers.
1) Mom Made is my third child. The team is part of my extended family. Every day, we laugh, goof around, support each other, challenge each other and work very hard together. There are no politics in our company and no one who doesn’t put in their very best effort. It’s so refreshing and fun to be a part of and lead this incredible team. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come together and I have no doubt that we will be a household name in no time.
Happy 9th birthday, Mom Made!