Many years ago, a fellow mom friend and I founded a baby food company named Petite Palate (good press: https://people.com/parents/petite-palate-g/ ). I was making food for my newborn son, and started selling it to friends and family and small retailers. It grew pretty large; eventually selling on Amazon, Whole Foods and other regional retailers. We were all the vanguard of the frozen baby food frenzy along with Happy Baby and Plum Organics.
It wasn’t long before our competitors started offering shelf stable options, like pouches. We refused as we really believed that frozen retains more nutrients and is healthier for babies, being closer to homemade. This turned out to be our tragic error, as most retailers do not want to dedicate their prime real estate next to the frozen pizzas to something as novel as frozen baby food.
Next blow was the crash of 2008, and poof, all our funding dried up, sealing our fate. (Not-so-good press: https://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/06/business/smallbusiness/06sbiz.html).
After YEARS of healing and recovering financially and mentally (it was such a labor or love and we dedicated our lives for years to our endeavor), I think I can finally start another project. This time, however, slow growth and complete control over finances is my goal.
I have been selling my t-shirts and equestrian themed apparel (available here), and it’s been so much fun, but I am excited to incorporate my chef skills to my business. I’ve been cooking my own fresh marinara, basil pestos for years. I decided to start exploring how I can monetize my love of cooking and my yearning to start a food business again.
I found a great kitchen incubator named Hudson Valley Beta Kitchen (HVBK), in the adorable town of Croton on Hudson. I’m putting together my recipes, scaling them up for small batch production and will be selling them at local farm stores, farmers’ markets, and local summer festivals.
Starting with Fresh Marinara, Fresh Basil Pesto, and Spicy Thai Basil Pesto under the sub-brand, Cavallo Rosso, meaning Red Horse in Italian – same brand look at feel as Tack and Tweed, but food-related.
I’m hoping to be ready in time to launch at the Summer Fest in the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, finger’s crossed I can secure all the necessary permits.
I’ll be posting recipes that can be made with the Marinara Sauce and ways to use the different Pestos, so stay tuned! If you are local to Northern Westchester County, NY and want samples, please email me at TackandTweed@gmail.com; in addition, any comments, please comment below as I need and appreciate any feedback!