Little Fingers Baby Food
1st May 2016
Founder: Marcus Wilson
Little Fingers is an award-winning baby food brand that began at the kitchen table It is now a range of 16 healthy, tasty and organic products for children to self-feed
Marcus Wilson started his home business out of frustration. He wanted to give his toddler, Bobby, food that he could hold himself that was also healthy, tasty and organic. Marcus recalls, “the options suitable for self-feeding – bread sticks and rice cakes – don’t have much nutritional benefit, so I felt really limited in what I could give him”. That’s where I saw a gap in the children’s food market, and after having my second child, I decided to start Little Fingers Baby Food.”
Freshly frozen and produced in Marcus’s West Yorkshire kitchen, Little Fingers now offers a range of 16 products with meat, fish, vegetable and sweet options. Marcus says that parents choose their products because they offer a healthy and convenient way of feeding their kids, while also helping toddlers develop their hand-eye coordination and learn how to feed themselves.
Little Fingers is a burgeoning success but it hasn’t been easy
Almost two years old, Little Fingers is a burgeoning success but it hasn’t been easy. Marcus describes the early days as difficult “[Setting up a business] is always high risk. There are distractions and obstacles at every turn. One day it’s quality control and the next it’s literally running out of space in your family kitchen.”
Marcus adds, “It’s so hard to keep the commercial from the residential when you have a home business – you lose two hours a day just preparing the kitchen and it can feel like work never stops. You wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning if you knew how many hours you were about to start doing.”
However, Marcus credits the fact that Little Fingers remains a home business as a key strength to the brand and to the bottom line. “As soon as we had the idea, we wanted to get the business going but not put ourselves under immense pressure, and the home business route allows us to significantly keep costs down”, he says. Marcus also praises the the flexibility that working from home offers, “My wife works full-time, so childcare would have been a much bigger issue if I weren’t operating from home.”
Hard work pays off and Marcus scored his proudest professional achievement to date when Little Fingers was shortlisted at the UK Packaging Awards 2015 in the Branding Project of the Year category. Recognition on such a scale gave him a real confidence boost, “You feel like you’re getting somewhere, getting noticed in a market that is massive and is only going to get bigger”, he says.
Marcus’s advice is to find a way to separate the personal from the professional, that means everything from conversation to kitchen appliances – “if you manage that then I think you’re on to a winner,” he says.
Home business success is about remembering the bigger picture
Home business success is about remembering the bigger picture, he adds, “Don’t get frustrated, take your idea, believe in it and stick to it. People always complain that X doesn’t work and Y’s not going as well it should be, but if you really do believe in it then you have to go for it.” He adds, “For my family, the home business setup is a long-term proposition – one that demands determination but also complements our lifestyle. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”