Being a big fan of the very talented writer Leigh Vanderhorst, Author of Without My Mum and editor-in-chief at Mama Love Magazine, this interview excited me to say the least!
So when myself and the Baby Bistro story was featured on the site, I must admit I was a little giddy. Thank you to the wonderful Mama Love Magazine team for thinking of me and taking the time to learn more about me and my passion, Baby Bistro!
Published in Mama Love Magazine, February 2016
Being a parent means more than cooking, cleaning & school runs! It’s about quality.. Quality experiences, quality connections, quality time & QUALITY FOOD!
Introducing Baby Bistro! Your ‘go-to’ QUALITY option to feed your little ones when life gets a little overwhelming. Affordable and wholesome, Baby Bistro Founder, Melbourne mother of 2, Sevi Stolica,is committed to ensuring that as busy parents, our cherubs are kept conveniently fed, without compromising in quality.
Meet the über fabulous Sevi…
Mama Love Magazine: Baby Bistro is an organic option of ‘fast’ healthy food for our little ones.. When did you take on the challenge of running your own business and create Baby Bistro?
Sevi Stolica: When Lucas (now 5) was a baby and started on solids, I wasn’t content in feeding him the meals available at general supermarkets. I was never comfortable with the thousands of numbers and hard to pronounce ingredients on the labelling of food even before I became a mum but once my first baby boy came along, I felt I had to act. And I knew from speaking with friends and family that I wasn’t alone. I started to cook all of Lucas’ meals and when I did, I took the food back to basics. No ‘extras’, just simple, wholesome and nutritious foods that would help me to teach him that healthy was also yummy. Lucas was a fussy eater at the best of times so feeding him was a challenge in itself! When I found that the foods I was encouraging him to eat were being accepted and he was actually enjoying them, I reached out to my network to see if this was something other mums would be interested in. From there I decided I had established a major gap in the baby foods market because while there were organic meals available, and heat-and-eat meals at the ready, they were either stored on a shelf for months and months or they weren’t fresh. Baby Bistro grew with my family, and as Lucas got bigger, the menu grew to cater to his needs.
MLM: I love that you have managed to keep each meal affordable. Has this been very important to you?
SS: So important. I think it helps that I am a mum who ‘learned by doing’ with my sons that feeding a babe is not a cheap exercise much of the time. And when healthy organic eating is important to you, you do tend to be shopping on the high end of the grocery bill scale – such is the way of organic foods and produce. I look at Baby Bistro from the consumers perspective – What would I appreciate? What would I be willing to pay? I find this helps when although it is a business, it is a business with a target market and I’m still part of that market!
MLM: Have you always had a passion for cooking?
SS: Always. The Baby Bistro menu is largely created around old favourites of mine with little twists and tweaks here and there that I created. My mum was an amazing cook – always cooking healthy, delicious food for us. She was a passionate cook and I suppose in a way, Baby Bistro is what it is because of what she ingrained in me when we were cooking, eating or even just talking about food. I have always enjoyed cooking as a result and for me, food is about more than just eating. It’s quality time and sharing something beautiful that I created with love with the people who I love. When you love food and cooking, it becomes a lifestyle and I am very fortunate to be able to say that I spend my time at work fueling an aspect of my lifestyle that is such a big part of who I am.
MLM: Your range caters for babies, toddlers and children.. Ever considered branching out to create ‘Exhausted Adult Bistro’? (pleeeeeassseeee!!)
SS: Of course! I did say I look at the big picture from the perspective of a consumer and ‘exhausted adult’ is a category I find myself fitting into often! Haha! Yes, the new ‘Big Eats by Baby Bistro’ meal is designed to support a family or even only adults so that eating and mealtimes doesn’t need to be stressful. Life gets stressful, but mealtimes shouldn’t be. At the end of a long day or week we should all be able to sit down and enjoy good food with people we love (or even alone!) without any negative association with it. While designed with children in mind, the range is going to suit parents who want to either snack on the go, pack healthy workplace lunches or simply enjoy a Saturday at the park with their family and have hardly any work needed. Just pack, play and eat. That’s how life should be and I hope that with this range, I can help bring that back to Australian families.
MLM: Megan Gale, Bec Judd, Sophie Cachia (The Young Mummy)… So many fabulous mums are loving ‘Baby Bistro’! This must make you SO happy..
SS: It does! And not just because many of our customers are well-known; having someone who has a large audience who respects them and what they have to say speak positively about me and what I have created out of love means everything to me. Every week we get emails, texts, social media comments from mums everywhere who give us praise and thanks and I cannot tell you how much that melts my heart.
The fact that anyone is thankful and satisfied with what I have provided for their family keeps me going. That’s why I started in the first place! For someone to take to a public platform and express gratitude for my brand reminds me that what I do has purpose. That is priceless and always will be.
MLM: You are the mother of two delicious little boys. How on earth can you create such amazing meals for others and keep up with the demands of motherhood?
SS: Now I could lie and paint a perfect picture here or… I could be honest and tell you that some days are HARD! Some days you question yourself – have I provided enough, am I available enough, am I missing something? This happens to us all – business or no business. I am fortunate enough to have a team of people around me who believe in what I do and support me where they can which in turn allows me to continue being the mother that I want to be. One of those is my husband, Luc and his support allows me to be the business person and the mum. That’s very special and I know that as a family, we are all very lucky to have each other. On the very busy days I remind myself: I am doing what I do for my boys – I want to inspire them and encourage them that even if it takes hard work and a little bit of fight now and then, they can do anything that they dream up in their beautiful minds.
MLM: When not cooking up a storm, what do you love to do to relax..
SS: What is that? Re…lax? Haha OK. Confession: So when I am alone, and the boys are asleep, I maybe, might indulge in some corny TV shows!! But I need that because it is so important for me to sit back and actually chill out without having my mind race, or something to worry about. I value that switch off time, however rare, because it sort of allows me to energise. Other times, I might just take some time out with a coffee in the mornings or phone a friend to catch up. It depends on what I feel I need at the time I suppose – be it social, quiet or whatever.
MLM: What’s in store for ‘Baby Bistro’ for 2016?
SS: ‘Big Eats’ is the first and honestly most exciting development right now for Baby Bistro 2016. We have been working to perfect the new menu for a long time and it is finally together!! We are soooo close to launching and having the menu readily available to purchase I can taste it. And that really does excite me because I feel it is going to make life easier for those who need it or even simply want it! Then we might have a sneaky event up and coming and a few more surprises in store…but for now we have to keep them secret!! Watch this space…
Mama Love Magazine is a digital magazine run by mothers sharing lovely, informative and inspiring stories with you, highlighting the amazing talents of women. We are real, authentic mamas, bringing tips, tricks and interesting features to you each month while juggling our own families and commitments. This is our space to share all that we love.