If you were like most new mothers, you spent the months after the birth of your child in a sleep-deprived haze, surviving by the grace of god, Starbucks, and dry shampoo. If you were Jeannie Marrugo, however, you were slowly building a business. That’s right, just months after her daughter Camila was born, Jeannie, a successful architect, was busy figuring out how to turn her desire into make fresh food for her daughter into a legitimate business venture.
Two and a half years later, Cafe Baby has become a recognizable local brand and a crowd favorite for Indy moms and caretakers. Cafe Baby produces, distributes, and sells fresh baby food and lactation products, and they even deliver in the Indy-area!
Cafe Baby is the perfect solution for busy moms who want fresh, handmade baby food but just don’t have the time, energy, skill, or some combination thereof to make it happen. What sets Cafe Baby apart from the baby food you find at stores, even the organic kind? Cafe Baby’s resident chef and Jeannie’s Mom, Sherri Sego, uses fresh fruits and vegetables and steams and roasts them fresh before pureeing. Most shelf brands are cooked at extremely high temperatures, which preserves shelf life. So, Cafe Baby food will only keep for about three to four months, but the fresh taste and vibrant color is a welcome tradeoff.
Although successful in her field, Jeannie had no previous business experience. It was a “crash course” she says of the beginning stages of the endeavor. She and her mother kept the operation intentionally small, using their own money for funding. Today, Jeannie likes to look back and remark on “how far we have come”. Luckily for Jeannie, the business of baby food seemed to have more space for female entrepreneurs than the male-dominated world of architecture to which she had become accustomed. “I feel much more welcome in this market”, she says. Jeannie has also relied on other businesswomen for support, including the Startup Ladies, a local organization that supports female entrepreneurship. Jeannie and her mother Sherri also continue to be inspired by the words of Christy Wright of the Business Boutique podcast who says, “You should just do it scared” and “Nothing happens overnight”, both of which have become unofficial mantras of Cafe Baby.
Cafe Baby is responsive to its customers and the market and is always looking towards growth. When the company’s loyal customers began outgrowing the product, Jeannie and Sherri expanded the menu to include finger foods. (P.S. Their mini muffins are to die-for!). Now, the pair are looking to make Cafe Baby a fixture of the community with a storefront on Indy’s Northside. “Our dream is to be nationwide, but we never want to lose our local touch,” Jeannie says. Her dream includes franchising Cafe Baby to local markets and continuing to work with local farmers to get the freshest ingredients possible.
WHO ELSE IS IN THE MOMLIGHT? We love Frances Samarripa of LINE+form Atelier
“Earning the trust of mothers is not easy”, Jeannie says, “And I’m saying that as a mother.” Now with Cafe Baby products being distributed all over the Indy area, being featured at farmers markets, and offered at the Urban Chalkboard in Carmel, it’s safe to say that Indy Moms have given their approval. So Jeannie will continue to dream big and find ways to make Cafe Baby a household name across the country, while Sherri keeps creating delectable, health, and fresh treats for Indy’s youngest foodies!
MORE INFO: Cafe Baby offers “fresh baby food delivered to your door” and our CityMoms are crazy about it, not just because Jeannie is a CityMom herself, but because our CityKids love their food! Discover details at their website or on Facebook. Special thanks to their team for providing the photography for this post.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
As a transplant to the Midwest, Megan Bohrer still got excited by the first snow flurries of the season. Although her husband’s job as a private school administrator brought them to the area, Megan recently moved ‘home’ to Atlanta. And damn, we miss her.
When she isn’t chasing after her three children or putting herself through nursing school, Megan enjoys drinking craft beer, photography, playing soccer, and fantasizing about all of the Pinterest projects she will one day complete.