31 January 2017
Meet Our Customer: Piccolo
This month we hear from our customer Cat Gazzoli, founder of Piccolo.
How did your business start?
I had always dreamed of running my own business, but my experience of working at the United Nations (UN), and for food movements and charities, is a very different thing to building a brand. When I had my daughter Juliet I started thinking about all the areas I could go into next. The charity I founded, the Food Education Foundation (FEF), made me aware of what parents were anxious about when it came to feeding their children, and what was in the market. This is when the Piccolo seed began to grow.
Around two years ago I started getting people around the kitchen table to see where we could take the Piccolo seed. Running Slow Food UK and working with the National Childbirth Trust (NCT), I became much more aware of the foods that were being given to young children, but also the concerns of parents and how much they wanted to be part of a brand that shared their values.
I started thinking more about the market place and what was missing, but also about how I could create a company alongside the charity that parents could relate to, that had a strong social purpose. Our range of delicious organic purées provide a practical way to introduce babies to new and exciting flavours.
What is unique about your company?
We’re all about nourishing food, family and friends together. With our variety of flavours we encourage little ones in taste exploration and through our food education initiatives with the NCT and our sister charity FEF, we want to support parents through their child’s food journey. We believe in home cooking, and provide cook at home recipes for all our products, alongside a range of resources on food education. Our wonderful in-house nutritional therapist Alice, who runs the charity, also does workshops on healthy eating all over the UK.
Who and where are your customers?
Mums and dads, grandparents and caregivers across the UK! Oh, did we mention the little Piccolo’s that we adore?
How’s the future looking for you? What are your plans?
We have been trading for just over 10 months and in that time we have gone from six products to sixteen! The plan is to keep bringing flavour innovation to the pouch category this year. 2017 is all about expanding our distribution and holding more weaning workshops and education events for parents.
Why do you buy from Organic Herb Trading?
Sourcing is something we take a lot of time over and feel very passionately about. With my background in food policy in the UN and with Slow Food UK, I want to know where my ingredients come from and support great suppliers. Using herbs and spices is a core part of our product, and as soon as we started searching for the ingredients, the name that came up time and time again from chefs and brilliant food start ups in the UK that I had worked with in Slow Food UK, was Organic Herb Trading. So there really was no other choice for me.
Why is organic / provenance important to you?
We have actually just published a beautiful video of why provenance is important to Piccolo! At Piccolo, independent family farms are at the heart of our sourcing decisions. We know our farmers and their stories and we work closely with our farmers so that they grow produce for Piccolo that is bursting with flavour to put in our recipes. It’s at the core of our promise to make sure we are getting the best possible ingredients for our range.
Please feel free to tell us one unusual fact!
Artichoke puree is one of the best selling flavours of baby food in France!
What is your favourite cup of tea / or long cool relaxing drink?
Pukka’s Three Tulsi is a big favourite in the office at the moment!
To find out more about Piccolo you can visit their website here.