The Entrepreneur: Sophie Baron, Mamamade Mamamade has parenthood at the heart of its creation, providing organic, plant-based baby and toddler meals right to your door via its subscription service. Written by Ross Darragh Updated on 10 January 2022 About Us Startups was founded over 20 years ago by a serial entrepreneur. Today, our expert team of writers, researchers, and editors work to provide our 4 million readers with useful tips and information, as well as running award-winning campaigns. We interview successful entrepreneurs from all over the UK, celebrating their achievements, hard work, and determination to get to where they are today. Written and reviewed by: Ross Darragh Writer Founder: Sophie BaronCompany: MamamadeWebsite: mamamadefood.comMamamade’s organic baby food delivery service is proving incredibly popular among busy parents striving to ensure their children eat homemade, nutritional plant-based meals to support their development. The brand has sustainability at its core with its carbon neutral shipping, 100% recyclable packaging and its zero-waste company policy.Sophie Baron, founder and CEO of Mamamade, speaks to Startups about business aspirations, difficulty achieving investment as a female founder, and how her brand is providing an important support network for parents around the UK. The Business Growth Challenges Personal Growth Startups.co.uk can help your business succeed At Startups.co.uk, we're here to help small UK businesses to get started, grow and succeed. We have helpful resources for helping new businesses get off the ground – you can use the tool below to get started today. What Does Your Business Need Help With? Project Planning Creating a Website Getting a Business Loan Business Bank Account Get Started The BusinessDescribe your business model and what makes your business unique:Mamamade is a leading D2C parenting brand in the UK. We grew out of a genuine need as I was struggling with the lack of resources and tools when I became a mother. Our growth has been completely organic through social media, and we have developed an engaged following of 40k parents in under two years.We currently sell directly to the consumer across the UK, as well as through our latest partnership with Gorillas – allowing us to deliver in under 10 minutes.What is your greatest business achievement to date?Raising money from some of the top UK angels and entrepreneurs, enabling us to move into our own 2000 square foot dedicated kitchen facility and supporting parents at over 175,000 mealtimes.How did you fund your business?Mamamade was completely bootstrapped for a while to start – back when it was just an Instagram business. Once things got going, I raised from a selection of seasoned entrepreneurs and investors, including the people behind Made.com, Karma Kitchens, Pollen & Grace, amongst others.We’re now raising another round, this time opening it up to our community via Seedrs.comWhat numbers do you look at every day in your business?Our goal is to become the leading support system for parents across the UK and beyond, so our North Star is how many parents we are helping – both in our online community on Instagram and with the physical resources going out to them.To what extent does your business trade internationally?We currently deliver throughout the UK and are looking to launch in Europe in the near future.Where would you like your business to be in five years?Our mission is to help as many parents as possible. In five years Mamamade will be the leading brand for parents, in the UK and beyond, providing tools, resources and community beyond our current offering.What software or technology has made the biggest difference to your business?Mamamade would not exist without Instagram as a platform for our community, and Shopify for enabling us to create an amazing e-commerce site. Mamamade would not exist without Instagram as a platform for our community, and Shopify for enabling us to create an amazing e-commerce site. Growth ChallengesWhat is the biggest challenge you've faced in business?Raising money as a woman founder is not the easiest – and I found that first round to be the hardest. I’m so fortunate that in the end, Mamamade is backed by an amazing crew of supportive, experienced angels and operators who are huge advocates of making the investment landscape more egalitarian – but I really did face comments and questions that I’m positive no male founder would have been asked. Raising money as a woman founder is not the easiest - and I found that first round to be the hardest. I really did face comments and questions that I’m positive no male founder would have been asked. What was your biggest business mistake and what did you learn from it?Lack of confidence, not believing in myself early on enough – and really appreciating that this problem I had was shared by so many others.What one thing do you wish someone had told you when you started on your business journey?It’s ok to go slow. I’m impatient by nature, and I’ve often wanted it all and all at once. But sometimes to go far you have to pull back, and to go fast you need to first go slow. We actively clamped down on growth last year to refine our products, build out a team, and make the transition into a large dedicated facility – watching growth stagnate was painful, but ultimately that pause has allowed us to regain ground extremely quickly, and continue to grow at c.20% month on month.How has the pandemic affected the market you operate in?We are a business that launched just before the pandemic, which brought to light the importance of convenience, nutrition and priorities for mental health and support. We’ve also benefited from the transformation of the logistical infrastructure – with widespread and instant delivery services. Personal growthDid you study business or learn on the job?Learned on the job! Being an entrepreneur is the last thing I would have imagined for myself – and it’s definitely been a learning process.How have you developed and grown as an entrepreneur?Recognising my skills and where the gaps are, and identifying those who are more talented than me to come in and help. It’s not always been easy ‘giving up’ aspects of the business – after all, at the very beginning, I was the one doing all the cooking, packing, sending, marketing, customer service…bringing in people who are more skilled and experienced in those areas, and seeing their passion for what we’re building, has been the most exhilarating part of this journey so far.What would make you a better leader?It’s important to give everyone the tools and freedom to excel in their own positions – and continue to surround myself with better and better people.One business app and one personal app you can’t do without?Our team is completely flexible/remote, and we wouldn’t be able to feel like a cohesive unit without Slack and Google Meets – we’ve managed to build a really successful way of working together even though we’re not all in the same city! And personally, I cannot function without my diary. As a mum of two with a team of twelve, nearly every minute of the day is accounted for, and religiously keeping my calendar is the only way I know how to stay sane!A business book or podcast that you think is great:The book ‘Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business’ by Gino Wickman was recommended by a mentor and now I recommend it to every new hire we bring on. It’s an important reminder to stay focused on what works – until it doesn’t.Finally, what’s the most important piece of advice you would give to an entrepreneur starting a business?No matter what the idea – how crazy, how small, how big it might be – taking those first steps are the most crucial. Regardless of what others might say or think of the idea – just keep going. Startups.co.uk can help your business succeed At Startups.co.uk, we're here to help small UK businesses to get started, grow and succeed. We have helpful resources for helping new businesses get off the ground – you can use the tool below to get started today. What Does Your Business Need Help With? Project Planning Creating a Website Getting a Business Loan Business Bank Account Get Started Share this post facebook twitter linkedin Written by: Ross Darragh Writer Ross has been writing for Startups since 2021, specialising in telephone systems, digital marketing, payroll, and sustainable business. He also runs the successful entrepreneur section of the website. Having graduated with a Masters in Journalism, Ross went on to write for Condé Nast Traveller and the NME, before moving in to the world of business journalism. Ross has been involved in startups from a young age, and has a keen eye for exciting, innovative new businesses. Follow him on his Twitter - @startupsross for helpful business tips.