This content is the eighth installment in an interview series with the 2020 Target Takeoff Baby cohort. Participating companies are sharing, in their own words, details about their innovative companies. All interviews have been conducted by the Target Takeoff Program Management team.
Meet Square Baby.
Takeoff: What inspired you to start Square Baby?
Katie: We created Square Baby® to solve for every pain point we had when feeding our kiddos.
I’m a Registered Dietitian and Kendall is a Certified Genetic Counselor. We both earned master’s degrees in our fields and have been trained to follow sound research. We see through fear-based marketing and BS claims.
As moms, we were fed–up by the baby food options — many were unbalanced, lacking premium proteins and healthy fats, and misleadingly marketed. We were not impressed by the sea of uninspiring, shelf-stable, muted flavors that plagued the baby food aisle. And rows and rows of unrecyclable pouches that don’t encourage the important motor development skill of spoon feeding.
We didn’t want the next generation of babies growing up on so. much. applesauce.
We designed the Square Meal System to offer 100% Daily Nutrition — being mindful of the developmental milestones and important nutrients like iron + vitamin C, zinc, biotin, choline, probiotics, omega 3’s, healthy fats, fiber, protein, etc.
And while most baby food companies are touting “allergen-free”, we are doing the opposite because research shows that introducing allergens early and often can help prevent food allergies from developing by up to 80%! We are proud to be the only baby food company with a comprehensive Allergen Introduction Menu.
We are on a mission to simplify parents’ lives. To take the guesswork out of feeding baby complete, balanced nutrition. To offer a convenient option for “just like homemade” quality. To save lives through early allergen introduction. And to set the next generation up for a lifetime of healthy eating by exposing them to a wide variety of organic foods, textures, and herbs & spices.
Takeoff: How did you learn about Target Takeoff and how did you know it was time to consider going through an accelerator experience?
Kendall: We were lucky enough to participate in the 2019 Natural Products Expo West “Pitch Slam Finals”. And while we didn’t win the pitch, we did get to meet a few members of the Target Accelerator team who were judges and audience members. When the Target Takeoff Baby cohort was announced, we submitted our application immediately. Our fingers and toes were crossed for months as we waited for the decision to be made! So incredibly honored to have been chosen for this unique opportunity to work alongside some of the best retail experts in the biz.
Takeoff: Who has been instrumental in supporting your idea and why?
Katie: Kendall and I have each had incredible mentors along the way that have guided and supported us to this point. We are so grateful for the many who have believed in us. But we’d be joking ourselves if we didn’t note that our husbands and children have been the most instrumental in supporting our idea, goals, and future growth. Without their sincere encouragement and absolute support in us “going for it,” we might have been dragged down by the “mom guilt” that plagues so many working moms. We do this together — as two families that are ALL IN. And we couldn’t be more thankful for that.
Takeoff: What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who are navigating the impact of COVID-19 to their business?
Kendall: Lead with empathy, grace, and understanding. This goes for all that you lean on and impact: your employees, customers, vendors, and partners. Understand that many of us have been affected in various ways.
It should always be a part of your ethos — not just during difficult times.
We’ve always been a company who believes that the customer experience is everything. From the quality of our organic meals, to the customizable solutions for each family, to the “we got you” promise and tone that we hold dear.
Takeoff: What makes you most excited about the future of your brand?
Katie: It’s a really exciting time for the Square Baby family. We are at the cusp of incredible growth. We’ve spent the last 2 years laser-focused on the customer experience, developing a passionate group of families, and planning for scale.
Very soon, we will expand to national DTC distribution — giving us the opportunity to help more families offer 100% daily nutrition and prevent food allergies with our comprehensive Early Allergen Introduction Menu.
But most of all, we’re excited to introduce meals and snacks beyond baby purees. We’ve earned the trust and love of thousands of families by feeding their baby their first bites. We’ve provided critical, customized nutrition when it mattered most and developed their baby’s palate — setting them up for a lifetime of healthy eating. So, it’s no shock that the #1 request from our customers is “When will you introduce toddler meals?”
We’ve always intended to grow with our customers. Hence the name of our company: Square Foods, LLC. And we look forward to becoming a trusted solution for balanced nutrition for the whole family.
For more information about Square Baby, check out squarebaby.com