From the corporate world, to a new mum to entrepreneur… I shared it all with the lovely women over at Mama Mag this December.
I opened up about the Mummy Guilts, the inspiration for my meals and love of food, and my greatest highlights on life and business (so far!).
I hope you enjoy this read as much as I enjoyed being interviewed – and hopefully you can relate to some of my experiences, too!
Love, Sevi x
Taken from The Westside MamaMag Dec/Jan 2016
When did you decide to create Baby Bistro and where did the idea come from?
I began to create Baby Bistro in 2011 and in 2012 it came to life. When I was younger, my mum was always cooking up amazing meals and taught us a lot about eating wholesome, home cooked meals with heaps of variety while enjoying it. When my first, Lucas come along I wanted to give him the same experience but he refused! He was an incredibly fussy eater and being a new mum, I found myself feeling worried a lot about his eating, and at first I didn’t know how to approach it! Of course I know now that it was perfectly normal and my baby wasn’t going to let himself starve, but at the time I was concerned about how I was going to get the goodness into his little body that it needed.
We both worked hard to improve Lucas’ eating habits. I made all of his own meals and made sure that I packed as much natural flavours and nutrients into them as I possibly could. I practiced the kind of patience only a mother can pull off and slowly Lucas and I found harmony at mealtimes.
I was lucky to be blessed with Lucas’ little brother, Thomas who loves his food and is game to try anything!
When I realised that surely I wasn’t the only mum who went through this (how right I was!) I started selling the meals and the circle of customers just grew and grew from there!
What were you doing before you had kids?
I worked in a corporate job managing cash accounts for a stock broking house but in my heart always knew I would work with food!
How do you juggle being a mum and running your business?
Juggle is a good way to put it! It’s a constant balancing act – I have to make sure that I give my boys the attention and quality time that they deserve and that I want to share with them but also manage Baby Bistro in the kitchen, support my staff and focus on the future of the business also. It is not easy but I have a very supportive circle of people around me who help me stay on track.
I recently wrote a really personal blog about the ‘mummy guilts’ I believe we all experience at some stage and the difficulty in juggling these aspects of my life; I remind myself daily that my business is both for me and my family and at the end of the day my boys are why I work so hard and if they need me, that’s where I am. My advice to any mum in a similar position is to surround yourself with a supportive network and let people help when you need it!
With two boys under 5, do you have any memorable parenting stories to share?
Every day something happens that makes me feel lucky to have my boys. When I tuck my kids into bed at night, they tell me what their favourite part of the day was and seeing their faces light up just completes my day. Then when they tell me they love me it never fails to melt my heart!
You have so many delicious recipes, which is your favourite?
Do I really have to pick?! There are soooo many we still have up our sleeve which haven’t been shared yet! If I had to choose, my favourite Baby Bistro meal is the Extra Veg Ratatouille. The combo of veggies in it and the texture makes it a ‘whole family’ meal for us. We use it as a bruschetta, mix it through our pastas or just eat it on its’ own.
From our recipe collection on the website I am pretty much in love with the chia and zucchini muffins. A nice big fluffy muffin that makes you feel like you are enjoying a cheat day, but in actual fact they are super healthy!
What has been your greatest highlight to date?
There are so many… Getting into our very own commercial kitchen and setting up a shop front is definitely up there (besides having my boys of course!). From the second I decided to sell Baby Bistro meals from my own home I fantasised about having my own big kitchen, a happy team of cooks and really making an impact on families all over Australia.
It wasn’t easy which definitely adds to the satisfaction and there were times when I thought we were never going to find the right kitchen! We had some very busy and frustrating days but we got there in the end and it is a massive accomplishment for Baby Bistro and for me and my family.
There is nothing better than realising a dream or achieving a goal – especially the really big ones! I have big plans for Baby Bistro’s future, but so far I am ticking off items in my original ‘to-do’ list and while it’s crazy busy, it is one of the most satisfying feelings too.
What inspired your menu selections?
My mum was a wonderful cook and always produced hand-made-from-scratch favourites to the family at dinner times. I love the feeling of nostalgia when you tuck into a meal that was a favourite for you as a child. When I started on Baby Bistro meals, I wanted to provide those old favourites but add my own edge to them. Obviously organic food is important to me and I am a big advocate for clean eating so I always cooked with organic ingredients. I believe the Baby Bistro menu is ‘classic family meals with organic ingredients and a modern twist’.
What future events are planned for Baby Bistro?
I can’t give too much away but… we have a lot of exciting things coming up for Baby Bistro and our customers! We recently released our app which has been really popular and came as a great surprise for families everywhere… we have a few more surprises up our sleeves!
What advice do you have for others thinking of starting a business?
Don’t let your fears hold you back! It’s an oldie but a goodie. Of course there have been days where I have doubted what I am doing… especially in the early days. But if I listened to my fears I would not be where I am and I wouldn’t have bigger, more exciting goals to work towards. Doubt is your biggest enemy – get out there and fight for what you love!