Last year at this time, I blogged about shaking my head in bewilderment at all the buzz about the BlogHer conference. I wasn’t sure I was ready to attend – and the cost of the trip just made it impossible (although I didn’t disclose that publicly – I was too embarassed).
This year it’s a different story. Thanks to Stonyfield Farm’s BlogHer sponsorship, I’m going to finally participate in the BlogHer conference, the premiere conference for women bloggers. When I announced the Stonyfield sponsorship, I put out a call for two more sponsors to help defray the costs of the trip. I’m so grateful that two local, Mom-owned food companies stepped forward to join Stonyfield in sponsoring OrganicMania at BlogHer: Snikiddy and Mom Made Foods.
Last year’s interview with Mom Made Founder Heather Stouffer aka @mommadefoods remains one of OrganicMania’s most popular posts, and led to me filling in for Mom Made’s Marketing Director, @jennifermommade, when she was on maternity leave last summer, and then continuing on for an additional six months as a consultant. I no longer work for Mom Made, but I’m so pleased that they’ve stepped forward to help with my trip and to provide some great rebate coupons for me to pass out at BlogHer so that other Moms have an easy way to try Mom Made Foods organic children’s foods.
Snikiddy is a company I’ve followed closely for years. Based right where I live in Bethesda, Maryland (heck, Snikiddy’s owners live in my friends’ old home!), Snikiddy is another one of those great “Mompreneur” success stories I love hearing about – and supporting. Founded by Mary Shulman, (aka @Snikiddy), along with her mother, Snikiddy puts a healthier spin on snack foods –with no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial colors, no trans fats, and no preservatives.
One of the things that is hardest about making a switch to more organic, green and natural products is knowing what to buy. As I blogged yesterday, I still haven’t completed the switch myself. That’s one reason I’m so glad I’ll have coupons and rebate forms for Stonyfield’s organic Greek Oikos yogurt, Snikiddy, and Mom Made. I can give them to other women at BlogHer – to help them try these products and figure out if it’s worth it to them to make a switch. So if you’re going to be at BlogHer, come up, say hi, and don’t be shy about asking for a coupon or rebate form!
And again thanks to these great companies for reaching out to support this Mompreneur and so many other blogging women – – Stonyfield Farms, Snikiddy, and Mom Made Foods.
Copyright OrganicMania 2009Filed under Uncategorized | Wordpress Comment (1) |
Just wanted to pass along the news that my client Mom Made Foods is offering a great deal to celebrate the new year. Now when you buy any 4 Mom Made Meals or Munchies at SuperTarget by January 19th, you can redeem your UPC codes for a $9 SuperTarget gift card plus special savings codes from GDiapers and Bebe au Lait! Grab your rebate form and all the details here.
This $9 rebate offer is a great excuse not only to try Mom Made organic frozen foods, but to visit a SuperTarget! I tweeted a while back about the surprises I found on my “roadtrip” to a SuperTarget with the Mom Made team. I had no idea that SuperTargets had such an expansive organics section – including fresh organic produce, all at great prices, of course!
For more than a year now, I’ve been blogging about the need for more healthy, organic and natural products at prices that make sense. During this time, we’ve discussed money savings tips such as the expansion of Giant’s organic lines, great savings on Archer Farms house brand organics at Target, coupons from Whole Foods, and more. And now we see SuperTarget, recently named one of the top 10 healthiest grocery stores by Health Magazine, as another high quality option for organic foods at a good price.
Take a look – and let me know what you think!
And as for the Mom Made? Well, there are four options to choose from, but I’d be holding out if I didn’t tell you that Baby Boo and Big Boy prefer the Cheesy Mac (with peas!) and the Cheese Pizza. As for me? After a long day, I’ve been known to kick back with a Mom Made Bean Burrito and a beer!
Copyright 2009 OrganicManiaFiled under Consulting Business, Coupons, Food, Organic Prices, Product Recommendations, Savings Tips, Where to Buy Organics | Wordpress Comments (5) |
Last year at this time, I supported “Buy Nothing Day,” which encourages consumers to abstain from “Black Friday” shopping sales.
This year, it’s a different story. With “Going out of Business” signs all around the shopping centers, we see sad reminders of an economy in tatters.
I’m not suggesting you buy a bunch of useless “stuff” just to help the economy and save a few bucks for the holidays. But what I am suggesting is that whether you’re out and about today on “Black Friday” or cruising the Net on “Cyber Monday,” you can choose to make a difference with your purchases by patronizing those companies that help us to go green – either by saving energy, using organic farming methods, or insisting on recycled paper from well managed forests.
And yes, I have a few savings tips for you – all, I’m happy to say, from some great green companies I’m representing through my consulting business.
Savings Tip #1 – Free Organic Food for Kids (With Rebate)
Is there a SuperTarget near you? I visited for the first time last week and was impressed by their attractive display of organic produce, along with the increasing variety of eco-friendly products Target stocks – all at great prices, of course. The reason for my visit was to check out their new display of Mom Made organic foods. Now’s the best time to try Mom Made — for free. Mom Made will refund the purchase price of one Mom Made for Baby, Mom Made Munchie, or Mom Made Meal purchased at SuperTarget through December 10th. Just download this form for info on where to send your receipt and proof of purchase.
Savings Tip#2 – Free Shipping on Energy Efficient LED Lights
Think compact fluorescents are the latest and greatest in energy efficiency? Think again. LEDs are the wave of the future. Prices are coming down, and the energy savings are enormous. (Check out this comparison chart to get informed on the differences between incandescent, compact fluorescent, and
LED lighting for details). Now you can order that practical someone on your list the latest in LED lighting technology – with free shipping for the holidays. Check out Mr. Beams motion sensor activated SpotLight and StairLight, and read their great consumer reviews here.
Savings Tip #3 – 10% off Soft Organic Cotton Tees and Note Cards
Got a dog lover on your list? What about an environmentally conscious dog lover who wants to support dog charities? Check out these adorable, soft, whimsical organic cotton tees printed with water-based inks and the matching note cards, printed on FSC certified paper by an FSC certified printer in a carbon-neutral facility. Coordinating envelopes made from 100% recyclable paper, packed in biodegradable/compostable packaging with hemp string. Whether you choose to shake it off or live in the moment, there’s something for you at Fundamentally Dog! Use coupon code 1EM1108 to save 10% on your first purchase by 12/20/08.
Happy Shopping…and remember, think carefully about how you spend…you can make a real difference by patronizing firms that are working hard to protect and preserve the environment. Want to take it a step further? Sign up for my friend Diane MacEachern’s “One in a Million Challenge,” and commit to shifting $1,000 of your spending to eco-friendly products. As Diane, author of The Big Green Purse, puts it “The more money you spend on green products, the more you encourage manufacturers to reduce pollution, save energy and water, use less packaging and protect natural areas.”
Copyright 2008 OrganicManiaFiled under Consulting Business, Coupons, Eco-friendly gifts, Food, Holidays, Organic Clothing, Product Recommendations, Savings Tips, Sustainable Packaging, Where to Buy Organics | Wordpress Comments (9) |
Big Boy asks to go to Target so often that now 23-month-old Baby Boo is saying, “Wanna go Target!” I’m a goner. In addition to all this pressure on the home front, I was working hard this week on the launch of my client Mom Made Food’s kid’s organic line at SuperTargets nationwide.
So of course we ended up there yesterday, and I’ve got some great savings to share from Target’s in-house organic brand, Archer Farms. Target is running a nationwide sale through today (Saturday) on all Archer Farms products – 15% off a line that is already value priced.
I’ve posted here before about how the half gallons of Archer Farms organic milk are the Holy Grail for cheap organic milk by the half gallon. Can you believe they’re on sale for $2.92 per half gallon? And if you drink soymilk, you’re really in luck. You can nab a half gallon of Archer Farms organic soymilk for just $2.28. I usually refuse Big Boy’s pleas for chocolate milk, but at that price, I got him some as a special treat.
Now some folks dispute the notion that you need to buy organic for packaged or processed foods. Sure, we should all eat lots of fresh, whole foods, but sometimes it just makes sense to take advantage of the convenience of processed or packaged foods. And in those situations, whenever I can, I opt for products with the USDA organic seal, because it means that my children will be eating foods with no transfats, no artificial colors, no artifical preservatives, and no Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Many parents don’t realize that nearly all of today’s conventional packaged foods contain GMOs, and that GMOs have been banned in places like Europe and Japan. What’s more, in the United States, companies are not required to disclose the existence of GMOs in their products.
That’s why I stocked up on Archer Farms organic flaxseed and homestyle waffles– on sale for $1.86 per package and Archer Farms organic crackers (seasalt, multigrain, rye and flax, multiseed, and Italian herb) on sale for $2.11 per package.
I tend to stay away from over sugared items – in my book, organic cane juice is just sugar, thank you very much. But for those of you with kids whose teeth can withstand “fruit leather” or roll-ups, you might want to check out the Archer Farms organic fruit strips at $2.99 per 10 count box of organic raspberry, organic strawberry, organic apricot, organic pomengranate, organic wildberry, and organic tropical fruit.
And before you go? Print out these coupons for $1 off Archer Farms juice and cookies. The coupons don’t specify if they apply to the organic varieties, but it’s worth trying. And if you arrive and the shelves are bare? Remember you can get rain checks on all advertised sale items.
Happy Shopping! Did you find these tips helpful? Do you have any shopping tips to share? Please leave a comment!
Copyright OrganicMania 2008Filed under Consulting Business, Coupons, Food, Organic Prices, Organics vs. Conventional Foods, Product Recommendations, Savings Tips, Where to Buy Organics | Wordpress Comments (6) |
Shortly after starting OrganicMania, I wrote this post about How Blogging Changed My Life, which ran on LaMarguerite. As I wrote then, I “realized that organics and green living are more than simply an interest of mine. I want to find a way to make these passions fit into my work life too. This is obviously a huge change, and I’ll be blogging more about this as I explore what new doors may open for me.”
Happily, many doors have opened since that post. Not only do I want to share this good news with all those who have encouraged my efforts with OrganicMania, but I think it’s important to do so in the interest of “full disclosure” as well.
When I started OrganicMania, my marketing consultancy was focused on technology businesses, which was a logical step since I had spent my entire career in high tech marketing. Yet when it was time to explore social media and blogging, I chose to blog not about tech marketing, but about organics and going green.
Now, thanks to OrganicMania, I’ve expanded my marketing consulting business into the organic, green and non-profit sectors. My new clients are: Mom Made™ Foods, a leading brand of organic children’s foods; Livability Project, an organization focused on building sustainable communities; and .ORG, The Public Interest Registry, which manages the .ORG top-level Internet domain.
At times this journey seemed like something straight out of Oprah. Following my bliss was scary for me, as there was no defined career path, no specific roadmap to follow. There was no rational plan for how all of this unfolded. I met Heather Stouffer, founder of Mom Made, after she left this comment on OrganicMania. I met Dave Feldman of Livability through my volunteer work with Bethesda Green. In fact, I’ve met so many amazing people through OrganicMania – that’s another way blogging has changed my life, and another post for another day.
Thanks again to all of you for your support.
Copyright OrganicMania 2008Filed under Blog, Consulting Business, Marketing | Wordpress Comments (6) |
Organic Frozen Baby Food? And Bloggy GiveAways! Interview with Heather Stouffer, Founder of Mom Made Foods, LLC
Many new Moms make a list of all the things they are going to do for their baby. Making home made baby food is often near the top of that list. But a lot of these new Moms find that time gets the best of them, and they simply can’t follow-through on everything they’d like to do. So they end up like yours truly, with an unopened “frozen baby food ice cube tray” collecting dust on top of the fridge, and jars of organic baby food sitting inside the kitchen cabinets.
Now there’s another option. Back when I posted about a sale on organic baby food, I heard from several companies making frozen organic baby food. Frozen organic baby food didn’t exist five years ago when I had my first born, and last year I left the grocery shopping to Darling Husband (DH), so I wasn’t aware of this new option until I heard about it through the OrganicMania community.
Following is an interview with Heather Stouffer, founder of Mom Made(Tm) Foods LLC and another “Organic Mommypreneur” in the spirit of Karen Gurwitz of Mothers & Menus, who was interviewed here as well. OrganicMania was curious about why a mother would choose frozen baby food, and Heather was more than happy to discuss this, along with a host of other interesting issues about organics and feeding a growing baby.
OrganicMania: We all grew up eating jarred baby foods. In fact, the icon of a happy baby was the perfect little “Gerber baby food baby.” What made you decide to look beyond the conventional, beyond jarred baby foods?
Heather Stouffer: When my son Emory, who is now nearly three, was a baby, I found it difficult to find the time each day to prepare home made baby food. I couldn’t find any freshly made, store-bought alternatives that I felt good about feeding him. So I started to think about making my own brand of frozen organic children’s foods. My brother is a professional chef, and he helped and inspired me.
OrganicMania: Why did you choose to focus on frozen baby food? What is it about frozen baby food that is special?
Heather Stouffer: My goal is to produce organic food products for children that are as close to homemade as possible. Freezing is our “preservative.” Research has shown that frozen food can be as healthy or even healthier than fresh food, depending on how long it takes fresh food to get from the farm to your table. It can be quite time intensive to go from the farm to a distributor to the store produce section.
This is in contrast to frozen food, which is picked at peak harvest and then either directly frozen or gently cooked, for example, blanched, to capture peak freshness, and then frozen. Of course, if you’re talking about locally bought produce from a farmer’s market versus frozen, the frozen food might be less fresh, but still pretty close to being on par with fresh food.
But then if you compare it to jarred food, there’s a big difference. The jarring process is very intensive. In order to jar food, you need to cook it at extreme temperatures. You can actually see the color change. The food is cooked to death, and natural nutrients are lost in this process. You see the difference in the color and the loss of texture. Jarred baby food has a “yuck factor” for parents when they feed it to their babies.
I believe babies and young children starting their journey into a lifetime of eating, should be fed the very best from the start – foods that we would welcome tasting along with them.
OrganicMania: So you’re suggesting that frozen baby food tastes better and is more nutritious than jarred baby food?
Heather Stouffer: Yes, it’s sheer delight. We freeze Mom Made products immediately after they are prepared. So it tastes like I’m biting into a fresh Bartlett pear right off the tree, and it tastes like a real sweet potato. It tastes like real food that adults eat, unlike the way jarred baby food tastes.
It sounds simple but after parents taste our food, I often hear them say something like “ooh, yum, it tastes just like a real apple!” It makes me laugh because it’s as though they expected it to taste awful. The great taste of Mom Made Foods means baby has a better experience learning to eat than is typical with jarred foods. It’s better for your baby too.
OrganicMania: You could have chosen to make conventional frozen food, which still would have been a new option for babies and would have provided the taste advantage you describe. Why did you choose to make an organic baby food?
Heather Stouffer: Your baby’s first year is the most important for growth and development. Organic food is best because your baby’s brain, immune system, and hormone system are still developing. Many non-organic fruits and vegetables contain pesticides and toxins, which can affect how our little ones grow and develop. Plus, organic food is better for the environment than conventional food, because farmers use natural methods like crop rotation and composting instead of chemicals.
OrganicMania: How much does Mom Made Foods cost as compared to jarred organic baby food?
Heather Stouffer: The retail price is $3.99 for two 3.5 ounce containers. The price difference with jarred is in the quality and care we put into making each individual serving. We use only fresh ingredients in our products and do not add any fillers, preservatives or junk.
[Editor’s note: This compares to the prices noted in this post of the non-sale price of $1.05 for a jar of Earth’s Best baby food, so this would be $3.99 versus $2.10 for roughly the same quantity of jarred organic baby food].
OrganicMania: Quite by accident, I’m starting an interview series focusing on what I call “Organic Mommypreneurs.” You’re the second interview, with more to come. Why do you think so many Moms are starting organic businesses?
Heather Stouffer: I have found that the organic message hits home with many of us moms once we are pregnant and have children. All of a sudden you’re responsible for this other little person. It’s something Moms are focused on, and so we identify the gaps in the market.
OrganicMania: How do you do it all? What advice do you have about combining motherhood and entrepreneurship?
Heather Stouffer: Focus is critical. At any one time, there are 67 things that need to be done. You need to pick out the top three strategic projects that you are doing and focus on them. Then, at the end of the day, if you didn’t get to a task that impacts one of your strategic projects, you need to ask yourself, what did I get done today? It can be really difficult some days…some days more than others.
Also, I always advise other entrepreneurs to seek out and maximize the existing resources for small businesses. You need to be able to pick up the phone and call people, which can be scary sometimes. But you need to get the word out there about what you are doing and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
OrganicMania: What’s next for Mom Made Foods?
Heather Stouffer: Right now, our products are distributed in the Mid-Atlantic region, but we’re in discussions now with national retailers. We’ll be launching new products and massively expanding our distribution this year.
Update 5/29/08 — Full disclosure: Lynn’s consulting biz, Miller Strategic Marketing, is now working on an assignment for Mom Made Foods. At the time this post was written back in February, there was no relationship between us. Pretty cool, though – we met through OrganicMania and now will be working together!
And leave a comment to win Bloggy Giveaways of a Mom Made Foods rebate coupon for $3.99, a baby spoon, and for those of you who aren’t yet convinced, my two trays of unused baby food/breast milk storage cubes – a $12 value! (I’ll even wipe the dust off the $12 price label!) I have 10 coupons to give away, so leave a comment with your address (no fears, the comments don’t show up till I enable them, so I’ll delete your address before posting your comment to the blog!) . I’ll mail the coupons out to you. The winners will be contacted by email.
Photo Credit Family Picture: Wirken Photo
Copyright 2008 OrganicManiaFiled under Baby, Food, Interviews, Organic Mommypreneurs, Organic Prices, Organics vs. Conventional Foods, Parenting, Pregnancy | Wordpress Comments (17) |