Little Spoon is a subscription-based, prepared meal delivery service that offers a variety of fresh, USDA-certified organic, non-GMO meals, snacks, purees, and smoothies, coming in recyclable packaging with reusable plates and utensils, for picky and adventurous eaters ranging from babies to toddlers to kids. Inside Retail spoke with Angela Vranich, co-founder and chief product officer of Little Spoon, to learn about the brand’s plans to offer more nutritious, delicious meals for ki
kids, one delivery at a time, and some of the day-to-day details of running the business. Inside Retail: How did the idea for Little Spoon come about? Angela Vranich: We started Little Spoon because as entrepreneurs in the food space, we recognized a significant lack of innovation in the baby and kids categories. We had entered a life stage where we and our peers were becoming parents and were forced into choosing between two subpar options: making the food themselves to ensure it met their standards or opting for low-quality, junk-filled convenient options on the shelves. We set out to reinvent kids’ food from baby’s first bites to big kid years. IR: What have been the biggest highlights and setbacks you’ve experienced in building the business thus far? AV: What could have been a big setback for us ended up being our biggest win — the launch of our hidden veggie packed and clean kids meals line, Plates. Donning hazmat suits and spending hours on Facetime with our on-the-ground team, we were able to launch our first ever heat-and-eat meals to market early in the height of Covid — a critical priority for us as we knew that our customers were more time-strapped, stressed and in need of resources than ever. The line sold out in under a week and we were off to the races from there. Today our Plates are beloved by hundreds of thousands of customers across the US. Highlights include the incredible community of parents we’ve built over the years across the US, the amazing growing team of employees we have, and the countless industry awards and accolades we’ve received, particularly in the last year. We were honored to be awarded an Inc. Best Workplace, a Fast Co Innovation by Design honoree, and received a number of product-focused awards for our product lines. In this year alone, we’ve launched three new categories, each quickly becoming customer favorites and each driving multi-million dollar impact for our business. IR: How is Little Spoon filling in unmet needs/white spaces within the children’s food market? AV: Little Spoon is providing the modern parent the first and only end-to-end platform for early childhood nutrition. We are making it turnkey for parents today to access high-quality, delicious and easy-to-use meals and snacks — no corners cut and all delivered right to your door. Unfortunately, much of what exists on the shelf today simply does not meet the needs of the modern parent — in fact, some of the products are the exact same as what we ate 20-plus years ago when we were children ourselves! Little Spoon is innovating across each eating stage in early childhood — from baby’s first bites to big kid years. IR: What are your top priorities/areas of focus for the brand over the next 12 months? AV: Little Spoon is continuing to grow with our customers! Over the last six years, we’ve expanded our offerings to service our ever-growing customer base and to ensure we make it easy for families to start and stick with Little Spoon for their kiddo’s early childhood years. We’ll continue to innovate across each eating stage and provide what we believe the modern family deserves. IR: What does a typical day look like for you, and what’s your approach to work/life balance? AV: Work/life balance can definitely be a challenge for me as my co-founder and Little Spoon’s CEO is also my husband, Ben. There is very little delineation between ‘home’ and ‘work’ time since we are both living and breathing building the business. That said, we are both pretty good at compartmentalizing work when we want to unwind and not think about the business for a couple hours! My rule for myself when I wake up in the morning is to not look at my email or Slack until I am out of bed and ready to begin the day. Having a shot of black espresso while reviewing my calendar and responding to any time-sensitive messages or emails is a critical part of my start. My other non-negotiable is getting in a morning workout. It clears my head and provides me some much-needed personal time before work. I’ll then walk to our NoHo office with Little Spoon’s most important team member, our Chief Pup Officer, (and my dog) Gus. My work day varies depending on what my priorities are which always keeps things interesting! Meetings can range from taste testing new products, working on product innovation with our team of food scientists, reviewing consumer feedback and insights, and getting pulled into other various meetings with our broader company. We have an awesome group of people at our HQ and a great company culture so there’s always a healthy amount of joking and fun throughout the day. While I aim to limit work when I return home, it’s mostly impossible! I like to unwind by cooking dinner and hanging out with Gus and Ben. I’ll tie up any loose ends and get ready for the next day before going to bed which is typically later than I would like! IR: What is a piece of advice that you wish you would have been able to give to yourself when you were just launching Little Spoon? AV: Take the feedback early and often from your customers. Don’t let yourself become obsessed with your solution and choose to listen and evolve to best serve the community you’ve worked so hard to foster. IR: What do you love most about working in the retail industry? AV: I love creating and innovating upon new products that meet a real need and working alongside our marketing team to bring them to life. There’s nothing like the feeling of the day of a product launch when all of your hard work is finally out in the world for people to see and experience.