This week I’m chatting with Shauna McCarney-Blair the founder of Heavenly Tasty Organics. Set up in County Tyrone, Heavenly is an organic range of snacks for babies and toddlers and my lot are huge fans. Kadie loves the Sweet Beet Waffles and the Happy Halo Bites and there’s been a fight or two over the last Mango Squishie.
Hi Shauna, tell me a little bit about Heavenly Tasty Organics and how you came up with the idea?
Heavenly was literally started from my kitchen table. I have four kids, and when my two older ones were babies I struggled to find suitable healthy alternatives to homemade food which catered for their needs at the time. So I started Heavenly originally as a frozen organic baby food company, however now the company is very different from its beginnings in that we now supply a range of delicious healthy organic snacks for babies and toddlers. The whole ethos of the business is still very much the same in that everything is Organic, healthy and completely delicious. Our products are now available throughout Ireland, UK, Europe, the Middle East and Australia! In Ireland, you will find us in Tesco, Supervalu, and Boots stores.
What has been your biggest challenge starting-up Heavenly Tasty Organics?
The biggest challenge has been creating an award winning range of frozen baby meals, but not being able to locate them in the baby aisle of the supermarkets. Consumers loved our frozen products but getting them into their hands wasn’t as easy as you might think! It’s somewhat easier now for our new range of snacks – they can be easily found in the baby aisle of most supermarkets.
How did you fund your Heavenly?
Funding was all personal savings and loans at the beginning, along with a small amount of funding from Rural Development funds. I also secured some start-up funding through InvestNI mainly for marketing support during the early days of the business.
You said you have four kids, how do you juggle childcare?
Thankfully my two older children are in school which saves a LOT on childcare costs. My three-year-old has just started playgroup this year which is a great help, and I just wouldn’t be without my mum and mother in law. They are a great help whenever I need them.
What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of raising four wonderful kids amidst the madness of running your own business. My husband James is our Operations Director so we have to be mindful that we aren’t discussing the business too much when the kids are around.
What words of advice would you give to other women currently on maternity leave or with young children thinking about setting up their own business?
My first piece of advice would really be to go easy on yourself. Having a young family and a young business can be extremely demanding on your energy, time and resources. Take all the help you can get whenever you need it and don’t be too proud to ask for help. I would say for any mum wanting to start her own business to make sure you have a good support network around you. Be it family or friends or a good childcare crèche.
That’s brilliant advice, Shauna! So what’s next for you and Heavenly Tasty Organics?
We have lots coming up over the next few years with the business but for us, it’s mainly about continuing to support our customers that buy our wonderful products time and time again. For myself personally, it’s time to take some time off with my little seven-month-old Lily. I was back at work pretty much the week after I had her and it been a hectic few months with new launches etc. We are in the middle of her weaning journey so I will be focusing more on that and share our experience with our wonderful social media following.
And finally, where will I find Heavenly Tasty Organics?
You can find Heavenly at www.heavenlytasty.com on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or pop into your local Tesco, Supervalu or Boots store.
If you’re an Irish mammy in the baby business and would like to take part in Meet The Mumtrepreneur pop an email to email@example.com.