Startup of the day: Heavenly Tasty Organics

Company: Heavenly Tasty Organics

Founder: Shauna McCarney

What it does: organic baby food from fresh produce

Status: trading, see website

Funding: self-funded with aid from Invest Northern Ireland

When new parents first bring their bundle of joy home, there are a thousands things to worry about. One of these is food: what should a baby be eating?

Large supermarkets and relentless TV ads steer shopping trolleys over to the processed babyfood aisles. But there is mounting research to show that fresh food is healthier for infants and toddlers.

This is where mother-of-two, Shauna McCarney, comes in. Her company, Heavenly Tasty Organics, provides purees for babies made from organically-grown vegetables and fruit, including apple, broccoli, butternut, pear, carrot and sweet potato.

“It’s true to say that traditional babyfood has become jars off the shelf,” said McCarney. “But people are becoming aware that fresh food might be better. There’s also the question of food allergies, which many people are starting to become acutely aware of.”

The company, based in Cookstown, Tyrone, is McCarney’s first business.

“My experience in this particular area comes from being a mother myself,” she said. “Running a business is a steep learning curve. Every day brings something different.”

For a first try, the company is doing rather well. In the last few months, McCarney has picked up awards from Northern Ireland’s Women In Business Awards, Irish Maternity And Infant Awards and Best Business Startup in the Omagh Business Awards 2011. Last week, her company was one of the winners in Northern Ireland’s Local Business Accelerator awards.

More importantly, Heavenly Tasty Organics launched into 39 SuperValu stores, after winning a contract to supply Musgrave Retail Partners.

The company now also supplies over 20 other independently owned stores throughout Northern Ireland and will shortly supply stores in the rest of Ireland.

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