As a mother, post natal nurse and passionate foodie, Little Angels stands for everything that Heather Baker believes in. The team had a chat with Heather about how to make a happy baby.
What is your company background, how did you start the business?
“I started the company in 2013 while I was working as Mothercraft Nurse. I spent many years teaching parents and educators parenting skills, and also contracted to Maternal Mental Health. I also used to cook up batches of baby food for my clients as many families were relying on canned and jarred food for their babies everyday, which I couldn’t bear. Within a few months word got out that there was someone making handmade baby food commercially and I was inundated with phone calls and emails asking if I could make it for their babies too. We had to upsize our kitchens numerous times! It was a whirlwind of excitement in those early days.”
What is the current product range and variants and how do these products stand out in the market?
“We make a wide range of frozen baby food and a 5L water product for making up baby formula. Our baby food range has 11 flavours, which includes three different stages from the very smooth, gentle flavours to fork mashed veggies and meats. Variety is great for babies, as it gives them all the range of nutrient they need to grow up healthy and strong. Our products have a full range of meats such as chicken, lamb, pork, beef and fish, and a variety of vegetables, fruit, herbs and seeds – all without the parents having to cook up breakfast, lunch and dinner every day! One pack of Little Angels contains 10-13 frozen cubes of baby food. A baby just starting solids might only eat one cube at a time, but a 12 month old could eat five or six.”
“All our meals are handmade in New Zealand from organic fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds (wherever possible). Our meat is from free range New Zealand farms and all are naturally gluten and dairy free. Every ingredient in Little Angels meals is chosen for its nutritional properties, taste and texture.”
“We never add sugar, juices, concentrates, flours, or any type of preservatives, flavours, colours, fillers, thickeners or emulsifiers. All the flavour and the nutrition comes from our fresh, wholesome ingredients.”
“Our meals are cooked just like you would make at home. Our meats are braised, roasted or slow cooked in the oven, and our vegetables are gently steamed. We never cook using pressure or ultra-high heat processing as we want our food to retain all the goodness, and nutrients babies need to grow up healthy and strong.”
“I’m extremely proud of our water products, which we launched about 6 months ago. It has been very well received for parents wanting fresh, pure water for their babies bottles. Boiling ordinary tap water kills the bacteria, but doesn't remove all the chemicals and heavy metals in it. Ordinary filtered water only removes the taste and odour. Bottled mineral water is very high in minerals and is not suitable for babies as it disturbs the ratio of minerals in the formula.”
“Our filtration processes are designed especially with babies needs in mind. It goes through multiple level filtration, starting with an 8 stage natural filtration process, followed by reverse osmosis, world renowned CNFS natural oxygenation and then ultraviolet sterilisation. Our processes also give Pure Water for Babies an unmatched naturally high oxygen content (typically 10.5ppm) which is double the normal levels. Numerous studies have shown that this strengthens our immune system, defending us against unwanted bacteria, viruses and auto immune diseases.”
Has there been any recent company news?
“We’ve completely out-grown our current offices, so renovations have commenced which is really exciting for us, as it will give us lots more space and a fresh new environment to create lots more creativity and innovation! We also have a new Sales Rep starting soon which we can’t wait for. I’m especially looking forward to this, as I’m currently doing all the sales but my real passion is innovation, and being in the kitchen developing new flavours!”
“We recently launched five new flavours which our little customers seem to love! All are nutrient dense, healthy and there’s even one with almonds which is a first in New Zealand! Nuts are wonderful for babies, and are actually recommended now. It was only a few generations ago that parents were regularly feeding babies wholesome ingredients such as ground nuts, liver and eggs, but the big food companies started marketing white ‘baby’ rice, which was the cheapest food they could find, and sold it to parents as a first food for babies. As white rice flour is so deficient in nutrients, they added artificial minerals to it. It’s so sad! Unfortunately their clever marketing worked well, and we are still seeing it filter down through generations. New Zealand parents are becoming more aware of this now though, and I’m so glad that beautiful nutritious meals are becoming mainstream again – hopefully Little Angels has helped this shift.”
What are the plans for the business moving forward, is there any expansion on the horizon?
“We have a few exciting things coming up this year, but I’ve told the team team to keep it confidential at the moment, so it wouldn’t be a good look if I discussed it now! Watch this space though, there’s a lot going on in Little Angels HQ at present!”
Where are your products currently available to buy, and are you looking at or wanting to expand your availability?
“At present, our products are in approximately 25 stores, including supermarkets and specialty stores, but our main market is online. Online is perfect for mums with babies so they can do their shopping while their babies sleep. With our new Sales Rep starting soon, hopefully we will be in all NZ supermarkets very soon.”