Attitude is Everything with Bitsy’s Brain Food

bitsys brain food smart crackers

Bitsy’s brain food is on a mission to make great food that’s start with a simple belief: Healthy bodies and healthy minds are connected and learning to eat smart should be fun. Every day they work to make mega delicious, ultra nutritious foods to nurture little bodies, minds and imagination and to inspire them to learn and grow. For Maggie and Alex it has always been all about the health of kids from your family to theirs.

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Tell us a little bit about Bitsy’s brain food.

We met working together in non-profit over 10 years ago. We both just have always had a lot of shared passion that comes back to the health and well being of kids. We spend a lot the early part of our career working with schools with different after school organizations, running a national youth organization together that the mission was to empower kids to make the world a better place with their own actions Through volunteering and service we ran a child obesity program together that was one of the first federally funded programs to address the issue of children’s health and wellness in terms of their physical fitness. That program really inspired us. We have been working to try to take the angle of making it fun and thinking like kids. We felt there weren’t really many foods out there that were made for kids. They need their own brands. We just felt that someone needed to do a better job making organic, healthy eating, fun and  live in the place of reality that we moms all live in. Not every moment do you have fresh fruits and vegetables on hand.

How did you get the idea for your products?

Our idea actually first started out in the belief that every moment in a child’s day is a chance for learning. We felt there was a lot of mindless eating that went on. The idea for our product actually initially came out of trying to come up with clever ways to weave education into snack time. We thought of this whole idea of brain food and making food that is smart for kids to eat. We said, “Well, if it’s going to be something that they’re learning while they eat, it should be packed with the nutrition that’s good for their brains and bodies. We want that nutrition to come naturally from fruits and vegetables, so we bake fruits and vegetables into the product.

How was it starting a business with your friend?

Alex: It’s a real gift I think to have a partner especially both just being busy moms. Sometimes we joke that for us, one plus one equals one in terms of arguably to get things done and really function effectively.

Maggie: I just read Amy Polar’s book and she talked about her work wife and Alex is definitely my work wife. We’re each other’s work wives. I was talking to a friend at pre-school drop off this morning who was just saying how she has to take time right now and make time to see her friends and see other people. I said, “Well, actually Alex fills that need for me…” It’s actually still amazing because it makes it easier to do the job and to do business, but it also like really fulfills that side I think that every mom feels where that need for friendship. I think we get the best of both worlds.

bitsys brain food

Do you have a clear delegation?

We have the best team in the Universe, so it actually starts there. Our team focuses a lot on the operations and distributions side of the business.  Alex and I divide up; I usually focus more on sales. Alex’s focuses a lot on working with the rest of the team in terms of our finances, legal and our marketing. Like we said we’re kind of one brain and the team is really everything.

 

Tell us your proudest moment so far in running Bitsy’s.

Maggie: I think our proud moment was really was learning that we had become part of the made-to-matter program that target for 2016.

Target’s Made to Matter program focuses on innovation, design and wellness. The brands that you see part of the program are really handpicked by Target. You have to meet a lot of standards around organic, non GMO, non toxic. It’s really the best of the best in health and wellness. There are products that you’ll only find launching at Target initially.

Can you share the product that you’re launching with that mission?

We’re launching a product called smart crackers. They are actually crackers that weave in our whole educational mission. They’re puzzle piece shaped crackers that are made in the shape of tan grams.  They’re organic and what’s really special about them is that they’re made with a half serving of vegetables per serving which is really unique. I don’t think any other product out there for kids in terms of a cracker  has that much vegetable baked into it.

Can you share something where you have a flop or a disappointment?

So many of our mistakes when you look at it, have been the result of our failing to follow our instincts. In the moments where we listened to an outside expert or some piece of logic that seemed to make a little sense, but we had a gut instinct in the other direction and we didn’t follow it. You need to trust your instincts.

Early on, I think one of the most painful moments, was when we ended up hundreds of pounds of organic carrot and we were not able to use them because we had too many. That was really painful. We tried to sell them.

What is your biggest piece of advice for someone who is just starting out?

I think one of the biggest things we learned is that there are so many people out there who have more experience and want to help. It’s been really amazing how willing people have been to share their stories and their experiences and that’s been a real gift.

Do you have a company or business owner that you really looked up to?

We actually met one of our favorite entrepreneurs at our trade show booth when we were very first starting. Daniel Lubetzky who started Kind Snacks. He has young children and took an interest in our brand. He was kind enough to really offer advice to us and take time to sit and talk with us. He just believed in us and I think that that has been really wonderful.

Where do you see yourself and Bitsy’s Brain food in 5 years?

The big transition that we want to happen is that more families really understand what our company is about because I think that’s what really makes this company special.

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How do you stay balanced?

Balance to me is a tricky word because I think parts of our lives are balanced from time to time, but the whole landscape of what we’re trying to get through rarely feels that way.

Is there something that each of you do to make sure your day is successful?

My kids are my happiness. The big thing is perception and realizing we have this one life to live. Enjoy it, be happy and stuff is not going to go your way but either you let it get you down or you stay an optimist. Attitude is everything.

What has been a successful marketing technique that you guys have tried?

We did a really fun program this summer with Alex’s lemonade stand. We sent kids lemonade stand kits and gave them the cookies to sell as well. They raised money for Alex’s lemonade foundation and it was great because families posted pictures on Instagram that had our cookie boxes in it that talked about Bitsy’s. It showed families what our company is about and we were able to raise money for pediatric cancer.

Share one thing that you want your customers to know about you that you think they don’t know.

There’s definitely not a day or moment that every single person that works at Bitsy’s isn’t doing their best to try to do right by kids and to do right by our customers. Things don’t always go perfect, but we’re really trying to make better products over what is out there and to do something good. I hope that people know that we care and that were definitely giving a thousand percent every day to try to bring people the best we can.

Click here to Listen to Bitsy’s Brain Food on the Blissful Bites Podcast in iTunes

Bitsy’s brain food is on a mission to make great food that’s start with a simple belief: Healthy bodies and healthy minds are connected and learning to eat smart should be fun. Every day they work to make mega delicious, ultra nutritious foods to nurture little bodies, minds and imagination and to inspire them to learn and grow. For Maggie and Alex it has always been all about the health of kids from your family to theirs.

Maggie and Alex are the co-founders of Bitsy’s Brainfood, a natural foods company that believes that healthy and fun go together like Bitsy's Brain Foodkids and playgrounds. Before becoming moms, they spent a lot of years working with kids and schools, studying child development and education. Together, they built nationally recognized programs that empower young people to live healthy, successful lives.  One of the biggest issues they saw affecting kids was the growing epidemic of childhood obesity, and that’s when the light bulb when on. Wouldn’t it be better, they thought, if instead of teaching kids how NOT to make the wrong choices, we made it a little easier for them to make the right ones? Then they became moms and said, SOMEONE had better do this.  And no one did.  So… they launched Bitsy’s. Making healthy fun! Both Maggie and Alex live in New York City with their families– featuring the four kids between them, who range in age from 2 to 5.

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