If you’re currently a student of a Texas culinary arts program or are thinking about becoming involved in the food production or hospitality industries, it’s important to recognize the worth of original thought. Creating a product that can set you aside from the mainstream market, oddly enough, can be the strongest key to mainstream success. At least, that seems to be the narrative behind Pure Spoon, an organic baby food company based in Austin, Texas. According to the Austin Business Journal, the company recently signed a buying deal with organic grocer Whole Foods to have its products distributed in stores. Take a look at some of the details surrounding the company’s genesis, it’s rise and the recent success it had with one of the country’s leading organic grocers below:
Pure Spoon is the brainchild of Alyson Eberle, an Austin resident who found herself facing an odd dilemma after the birth of her first child four years ago in 2010. She wanted to be able to feed her daughter truly enjoyable, healthy food, but shopping for baby meals proved somewhat limiting. She was overcome with the fact that almost all of the baby-food options available in her grocery store were pre-packaged and had long shelf lives. In the short bio on her company website, Eberle summates her dilemma well:
“Nothing on the shelf looked like anything I would eat, so why would I feed it to my daughter?” she asked.
From this problem, the idea for her company was eventually born.
Eberle and her husband began making their own baby food, purchasing only the freshest and healthiest organic ingredients from local grocers. The process was, apparently, quite a bit of work (babies do eat a lot), but the rewards were instant and fulfilling. Through her time preparing all of these meals for her daughter, Eberle’s friends and neighbors began to take an interest in the food she was making, which prompted her to realize that there had to be a larger market for what she was doing. From there, Eberle began making moves. She had previously worked for a tutoring company that she founded, and it took her until 2012 to sell that business and gain the capital to begin Pure Spoon. Following the sale, she moved to Texas and threw herself into her new line of work. From the sound of her recent deal with Whole Foods, the decision to move and begin a new business appears to be paying off.
The new deal
The contract with Whole Foods is not an enormous one, but it is a foot in the door in a tough industry. According to the Austin Business Journal, 10 different kinds of Eberle’s products will be sold in Whole Foods stores beginning in mid-October. Initially, the grocer has ordered nearly 1,000 cases, which it intends to distribute among 20 of its locations in the Southwest. If the product is a hit, though, there’s certainly room for expansion, especially with the backing of such a popular and trusted brand.