mom boss angela sutherland, who founded Yumi
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Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor

This Organic Baby Food Delivery Service Help You Win at Parenting

The nutrients baby receives during the first two years of their life will impact their development for the long haul. This delivery service worries about all that so you don't have to.

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When it comes to nutrition, the first 1,000 days of baby’s life are of the utmost importance. Nutrient deficiencies during this period can have impacts that last a lifetime. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has a go-to list to help you discover which nutrients are the most important ones for your newborn’s brain development. But let’s be real, figuring out a way to incorporate all those ingredients into baby’s diet isn’t always easy.

In walks Yumi, a weekly delivery service that brings fresh, organic and nutritious baby food to your home. Backed by co-founder and CEO Angela Sutherland, Yumi meets the needs of modern moms and dads. Once you create an account, you can check out the weekly menu to see what might work best for your child, or customize your box with specific flavors. There’s even a milestones program where Yumi curates a delivery based on your child’s age and development.

We stole Sutherland away from the hustle and bustle of the baby food biz to learn the ins and outs of Yumi, and how she is simultaneously running a startup and a family.

What Made You Start Yumi?

When I was expecting my first child and doing research on how to have the healthiest pregnancy, I came across significant scientific evidence that the first 1,000 days of life are the most important period in a human’s life for nutrition and development. Yet, the baby food industry hasn’t changed in 100 years! The industry is still defined by heavily processed, nutrient-poor and sugar-rich foods that have likely been sitting on a shelf since before your baby was born. After really examining the ingredients, I was shocked to discover most baby foods are just dressed up apple sauce.

I knew there had to be a better way, and felt compelled to create a company that would meet the needs of a new generation of modern parents. Yumi delivers fresh, organic and nutritious baby food right to your door on a weekly basis. Our goal is to change an industry by helping parents understand how nutrition impacts their child’s development, particularly during these critical years. We do it in a judgment-free way with honesty, integrity and transparency.

What Sets Yumi Apart from its Competitors?

The biggest differentiator is that we have the strongest food philosophy in the industry, and that we are the first baby food brand in the US to build an entire product line centered on the first 1,000 days of baby’s life. It’s core to our mission and messaging.

Our meals are fresh and not heavily processed, unlike normal shelf-stable baby food. We work with a wide range of doctors and nutritionists to create nutrient-dense meals that are more than just apple and pear puree. Each meal contains an array of vitamins and minerals at density, or 20 percent or more of a child’s recommended dietary allowance (RDA).

We offer more than 80 flavors, which is more than any other fresh baby food meal delivery service. Our meals have about half of the amount of fructose as the average squeeze pouch, and no added sugar (some brands are still using fruit juice in their pouches and jars!). We source all of our ingredients from local, organic farms, and all of our recipes are free of gluten, soy, rice and common allergens.

Photo: Yumi

Walk Us Through How to Use the Platform and Service

It’s very simple to order. Just visit HelloYumi.com to create an account, and you can check out the weekly menu to see what might work best for your baby. You can either customize your box with specific flavors, or subscribe to our milestones program where we curate the box based on your child’s age and development. We have plans that come in all different sizes, so you have control over how much food you’d like to be delivered each week. Our packages arrive in a chilled, insulated box with color-coded trays to help you keep the food organized in your fridge. We deliver right to your doorstep, and all of our packaging is curbside recyclable, compostable and reusable.

First and foremost, we make our relationship with our customers a top priority. Our customers receive curated content from us every week via text and email, explaining how the meals in your box—as well as ingredients you might find in your kitchen—supports your child’s individual development and milestones. We try to make the science digestible, and give parents the knowledge to help them embrace healthier choices for their kids. We offer convenient options to make those choices easy, and show parents that convenience is not synonymous with compromise, and they have far more control than they ever realized.

Where Does Yumi Currently Deliver?

We deliver all throughout the West Coast, New York tri-state area and we just launched in Texas. If we don’t deliver to your region yet, don’t fret! We’re rolling out new zip codes all the time, so be sure to check out our website to see if we’ve expanded to your area.

What’s It Been Like Launching a Startup with Two Young Kids?

To say that I am incredibly busy wouldn’t even scratch the surface! But being a mom is what inspired me to start this business in the first place, so it definitely motivates me to keep going. It’s difficult when your kids are little, because they don’t fully understand why you have to leave and go to work. As they get older, I think they’ll be proud of what I’ve built, and look back and see that I was trying to create a positive change in the world. I believe that being happy in my work sets a good example for them, as well as passing along a strong work ethic.

Have You Made Sacrifices to Juggle the Different Aspects of Your Life?

Absolutely, the things in life worth fighting for don’t come without sacrifice. I often have to give up family time to handle work obligations, or miss a day of work because I’m needed at home. I’ve learned to toss the phrase “work-life balance” out the window. No two people are the same, and we’re all facing different daily challenges, which means there’s no set template that works for everyone.

I try to prioritize the most important things each day, and not stress out too much about the rest. Doing this requires a lot of focus, and I’m always thinking with the big picture in mind: Is my family happy and healthy? Is my business headed in the direction that I intended? Do I feel personally fulfilled?

At this phase of my life, those are my priorities. Sometimes vacations, time with friends and self-care have to take a back seat, but I’m okay with that. The startup phase only lasts for so long, and I’m trying to lean in, embrace the chaos and give it my all.

If Had a Bonus Half Hour, How Would You Spend It?

Definitely sleeping.

What’s Your Best Advice for Working Moms?

Don’t compare yourself to others. Set goals for yourself and your family, and focus on working toward them everyday. It’s easy to feel like everyone around you is lightyears ahead or has it all together, but you never know what’s going on behind closed doors. Prioritize the things that keep you and your family healthy and happy, and accept however that takes shape.

Any Great Parenting Hacks?

Autopilot as many things as you can; everything from bills, appointments, etc. We’re so lucky to have so much modern technology that helps us optimize our time. The less time you have to spend on paperwork and daily minutiae, the easier it is to spend those small pockets of extra time with your kids.

What About Funny #MomFails?

I’ve had more ridiculous #MomFail moments than I can count! But a few years ago, we were taking a family trip to Europe, and in preparation for the long flight I brought a change of clothes for everyone—except myself. Within the first hour of the flight, my son, who was sitting on my lap, leaked through his diaper and completely soaked his outfit, as well as mine. He enjoyed a fresh, clean set of clothes while I had to wear dirty, wet pants for the remaining 10 hours. Let’s just say, it’s a mistake I‘ve never made again.

What’s Your Guilty Pleasure?

Homemade pasta and a really nice bottle of red wine. I don’t often have the time to indulge in this, but I love to cook, so when I have the time it’s hand-down my favorite thing to enjoy with my husband after a long day.

Published November 2019

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Photo: Angela Sutherland