What They Do
Little Melly focuses on baby nutrition by offering freshly-made meal packs in the form of a subscription model. Since 80% of babies’ brains develop by age three, Little Melly believes that babies are in need of freshly-made meals packed with nutrients.
Little Melly was created after co-founder Jennifer Mansour realized that there were no preservative-free baby food jars in the Lebanese market. Little Melly’s conception offered a solution to this issue by providing freshly cooked baby meals delivered to doorsteps in the form of a subscription model. Doing so aimed at empowering parents to make the right baby food decisions for their household through personalized advice and credible education. So far, Little Melly has served over 2,000 clients and is scaling its operation.
“The idea sparked when I started feeding my first daughter Melanie solid food. I wasn’t someone who enjoyed cooking but I am also very adamant about my children’s nutrition, so I decided to invest effort into cooking at home. With a lot of research and passion, my love for baby cooking grew. I began cooking for friends who were working parents. I would cook at home and then hop in my car and deliver the food for free. I was simply experimenting with this concept with little thought to where it might take me next. Day after day, I began to receive requests from mutual friends for the same service. The operation eventually outgrew my home kitchen so my co-founder, Gelnar Chaaban, and I decided to pursue baby meal subscriptions seriously as a business.
There are so many stakeholders in our line of work. First and foremost, babies. Babies are 100% dependent on what we give/don’t give them. Studies have proven that what a baby eats within their first 1,000 days can depict what their IQ and salary will be at age 50. If babies can’t get access to freshly cooked and nutrient-optimized meals because of their parents’ busy lifestyles, their future is directly affected.
Secondly, mothers. The working mothers we sell to are often contributing to household income; This means they are busier than ever. With Little Melly, we’re reducing “mom guilt” and empowering them to pursue their careers.
Thirdly, Pediatricians. Many Pediatricians used to face difficulties when it came to helping babies transition to solid food. A few years ago, there were only preservative-filled baby jars which many Pediatricians recommend against. We’ve been able to support Pediatricians by collaborating with them as a recommended alternative for jarred food.
During my journey with Berytech, I learned that mentorship is critical to a startup’s success. Through the Agrytech Accelerator Program, we were confident that we would be surrounded by exceptional talent and mentors who would guide our strategic thinking and challenge our every move. The financial grants also helped us cover the cash gaps and ensured a smoother rise to success. Collectively, the Agrytech Program ensured that we were making the right investments for our business.
Some of the key highlights throughout the program were:
- Strategy Shifting: Entering the program, we had different goals. The workshops and the mentors provided guidance in identifying the right path for our growth.
- New Product Line: We were able to create a new product line (toddler snacks) which will be sold through new sales channels. We are now preparing to launch them into the market!
- Improved Operational Efficiency: We increased our production output by 25% by reducing the time it took to batch-cook our baby meals. This allowed us to cater to more people while using the same resources.
The best achievement by far was the mindset change, which is the most difficult change to actualize. While tangible results are stepping stones for future achievements, mindset changes last a lifetime. We have changed the way we think and the way we look at situations.
Our biggest challenge has to be finding ways to continuously motivate our team and empower them to do great work and feel appreciated. We were able to overcome this challenge by building a culture where team members can learn, grow their skills, and feel autonomous when making certain decisions.
Our long-term goal is to create a strong brand presence in the Arab region, so much so that whenever a parent thinks of baby food, Little Melly comes to mind as the trustworthy source of advice and baby food. “
To get in contact with Little Melly, click here
Berytech designed and developed the Agrytech program to make sure Lebanon has the most competitive companies that are sourcing, solving, growing, and transforming food, as well as feeding the world from Lebanon. The Agrytech Accelerator Program is under the ACT Smart Innovation Hub, a new out-of-the-box approach by Berytech, co-funded by the Kingdom of The Netherlands, which aims at strengthening business advancement and job creation in the Agri-food and Cleantech sectors in Lebanon. Berytech supports innovations across these sectors by offering startups the resources, knowledge, support, and funding worth around $35K, necessary to scale their ideas and grow them to penetrate international markets.