Story #89Farm Baby FoodsDes Moines, IA

The more I got involved with the industry, the more passionate I became. My passion continued to grow when I realized this was a niche that wasn’t being filled.

Every night after her children go to bed, Julie Burroughs goes to the kitchen and gets to work making baby food. The mother of four owns Des Moines, Iowa-based Farm Baby Foods, an all natural baby food and snack company that uses only fresh, quality produce. Burroughs is a one woman operation, making all of the baby food herself and delivering it right to the doors of local customers, in addition to selling it at the weekly Des Moines farmers’ market and local retail locations. And recently, because of product demand at a national level, Julie has started shipping Farm Baby Foods throughout the U.S.

Burroughs is a “farm baby” herself, having grown up on a farm where her family made most of their food, “My business goes hand-in-hand with how I was raised and what I believe.” When she had her own children, she always made their food herself, but it wasn’t until her identical twin girls arrived that the seeds of Farm Baby Foods were planted. “As I bought more equipment and started to grow my kitchen, it made me aware that busy parents, who believe in feeding their children the healthy alternative, may not have time to do that.”

While the market may seem saturated with healthy baby food options, what sets Farm Baby Foods apart are her “non-negotiables”: fresh, organic produce; a puree that is created in-house; an absolute all-natural final product (meaning absolutely no additional ingredients other than the fresh produce); and freezer-safe, transparent, reusable packaging so parents can see what they are purchasing. Unlike other products on the market, Farm Baby Foods are sold in the freezer section and have a shelf life of six months.

Therein also lies the challenge for Burroughs: re-educating customers to go to the frozen section. “Consumers are learning that convenience isn’t always the healthiest option. Just because you can pull it off the shelf, and your baby can eat it, doesn’t mean that’s the healthy option and the highest possible nutritional value your child can consume.” As her customer base grows, Burroughs is researching more efficient ways to produce her baby food and looking into co-packer options, but she is steadfast in maintaining the quality of her product.

“I’m not willing to give up my core values to grow the business to that extent. I’m going to keep production in-house for as long as I can.”

 

Photos by Christina Clusiau

 

  • Julie Burroughs, owner of Farm Baby Foods, an all-natural baby food and snack company based in Des Moines, Iowa.

  • One of Julie Burroughs’s twin daughters enjoying a pouch of Farm Baby Foods.

  • Julie Burroughs at home with three of her daughters. In the future she wants to start making healthy snacks for older kids and enjoys the toddler pouch snacks herself. “I love them after a run, and I have a lot of athlete friends that enjoy them as well,” she says.

  • Julie Burroughs, owner of Farm Baby Foods, at home with her identical twin daughters. A mother of four, Burroughs didn’t plan on starting her small business until the twins arrived and she began to make baby food more efficiently and in larger batches. It occurred to her that other parents may not have time to do it themselves, and she started her business with the goal of delivering her handmade baby food to local families.

  • Julie Burroughs cuts and peels apples to make one of her homemade batches of baby food. Produce is peeled and steamed for a short time, just long enough to puree it but not so long that important nutrients are lost.

  • Having grown up on a farm where her family made most of their meals, making her own baby food was something that came naturally to Julie Burroughs. Her products are made from scratch with no added ingredients or use of high temperatures that prolong shelf-life but take away from the food’s vitamins, nutrients and taste.

  • Julie Burroughs, owner of Farm Baby Foods, makes all of her baby food in a communal kitchen at night after putting her kids to bed.

  • Julie Burroughs has become a resource for parents who are having issues feeding their children or want to learn more about the process. “This is not how I started the business,” she says, “but I like to go and speak to new moms and playgroups about why it’s important either to make your own baby food or research what you’re feeding your baby.”

  • A mother feeding her child Farm Baby Foods. Julie Burroughs founded her small business because she felt that there was a void in the market for homemade, all-natural baby food and a need for it among busy parents, who understand the value of homemade food but don’t always have time to make it themselves.

  • It was important to Julie Burroughs of Farm Baby Foods that her product be packaged in transparent, reusable containers. The transparency allows parents to see exactly what they are purchasing, and, since many of her customers also make their own food, they can reuse the containers when needed.

  • Julie Burroughs, owner of Farm Baby Foods, speaks to a mom’s play group about her products in Des Moines, Iowa. Alongside her small business, Burroughs has taken on the role of educating other parents about the difference between store-bought baby food with a shelf-life of two years and homemade, all-natural baby food that uses only natural, high-quality ingredients.

Business Details

Proprietor: Julie Burroughs
PO Box 12072 Des Moines, IA 50312
PH: 515-991-8123 / Website
_ _ Back
To Top