This week on my Parents in Business series I’m delighted to be featuring Tijani who created Logan’s Plate with her partner Mike. As a parent of two small children myself I know how hard it can be to get nutritious food into a child let alone get them to eat it. That’s why I’m so excited to be featuring Tijani and Mike on the blog, their story shares with us the honest side of parenting whilst launching and managing a very successful business to help like-minded parents provide exciting, nutritious, healthy and tasty meals for our kids.
If there’s one top tip that you learn today, that is to always believe yourself and to read Tijani’s interview below…
Tell me a little bit about you, your background, and your business?
Mike and I met at work over 10 years ago. We worked at a fast paced mobile digital company. Think ringtone and wallpaper downloads, then with the launch of smartphones, mobile websites etc. We travelled the world, ate in fine restaurants and spent many a night in the local bars. Good times.
We’re both very logical people, but I’m more likely to make snap decisions whereas Mike will always think before acting. It balances us out perfectly. To outsiders we seem like an odd couple, but to everyone who knows us, we’re a perfect match.
After the birth of our second child, we both wanted to find a solution to the work/life balance. Returning to full time employment just didn’t sit well with us. While on maternity leave, Mike left his job to spend the year at home and to work on potential business ideas. My passion for cooking and healthy eating lead him down the path to begin developing the idea for Logan’s Plate.
What were your motivations for setting up your business?
I’ve always been a foodie. I love food, cooking it and eating it. When pregnant I researched nutrition and the impact of the first 1000 days of a child’s life. Eating well during pregnancy was tough at times, but essential. Don’t get me wrong, donuts and fried food was definitely on the menu.
I was so excited about weaning. Especially after discovering I couldn’t breastfeed. It became a mission of mine to pump as many nutrients into my little ones as possible. All meals were going to be made fresh, using only the best ingredients and my kids were going to eat everything. Oh, how naive. Most days getting out of pj’s was a win, nevermind regularly visiting farm shops for local organic produce. Returning to work the first time meant I had to sacrifice my precious time with Logan to batch cook balanced, nutritious meals. Mike often wondered why I didn’t just reach for a pouch or ready meal, to be honest, sometimes I did. He began researching them to find the best ones and quickly discovered that, yes they are convenient and very much needed. But they lack the flavour, texture and nutrients of freshly made meals. Knowing how important a child’s diet is to their growth, development and health, he couldn’t get his head around how popular these options are. He knew parents needed a better choice, he knew I could provide it. Together with nutritionists we developed our recipes and here we are, Logan’s Plate is delivering freshly made meals for little one’s 6 months – 4 years across the UK.
How do you balance the business around your family and childcare?
Some weeks it’s plain sailing, others it’s with great difficulty. We’re lucky enough that my Mum is retired and able to have the kids regularly during the week/at weekends if there are shows to attend. Running your own business with young children is tough, there are days where being a parent comes first. If they need it, everything is dropped I am there for them. If I have to open the laptop when the kids go to bed and start my day then, so be it. Working in the parent and child industry does take some of the pressure off though. I can take my little ones with me to meetings or events (it also helps that I always have food to distract them). Being the chief cook means there are days of the week where the business has to come first and that can be tough to swallow, but building the business now will hopefully allow more family time in the future.
Since setting up your business what has been your biggest success to date?
There have been two major successes for Logan’s Plate. Seeing our meals on menus in soft play centres and stay & play cafes is beyond anything we could’ve imagined. We’ve recently began delivering UK wide. This is huge for us. Going from a local business to a national one is something we dreamed of, knew was possible, but was naturally worried about. There are so many moving parts, but so far (fingers crossed) we’re coping well.
What’s your top tip for anyone who is thinking about setting up their own business?
Believe in yourself and don’t cut corners. Place value in all the little things. Every cog, even the smallest one, keeps your business going, they all need to be treated with the same level of importance.
Thank you so much Tijani for being part of my series, I wish you all the best of luck for the future.
If you like what you’re reading and would love to be part of my Parents in Business series just drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or have a nose at some of the other businesses I have featured in the series: Tribe PR, Gemz by Emz, and LID Project.