Meet Cat Gazzoli, the co-founder of baby food brand Piccolo
Words Katy Gillett
The Mediterranean approach to nutrition and life in general is what inspires the organic baby food company, Piccolo. Bright sunshine, colourful markets and families gathering around a big table to eat together – that’s what it’s all about for co-founder Cat Gazzoli. After all, it’s how she grew up – enjoying a varied diet of fruit, veg, pulses and a little bit of meat. And it’s how she now feeds her own family and daughter, Juliet. As the company celebrates its second year and launches new products, we catch up with Cat to find out what else she has up her sleeve…
What’s new at Piccolo Foods?
This year has been all about innovation at Casa Piccolo. We celebrated our 2nd birthday in April and wanted to mark it by introducing lots of new recipes to our Piccolo Pouch range, as well as launching meals for when your baby is ready for first textures and snacks for those hungry moments in between meals, too.
What went into creating the new Piccolo Pots?
We launched our Stage 3 Piccolo Pots after months of research, cooking and tasting. We wanted to offer parents a delicious and healthy option for when their little ones were ready to move on from purées, and so came up with the idea of split pots – one pot full of nutritious grains to introduce texture and protein, and one pot filled with a veg-packed sauce. The two pots can be mixed together to make a yummy meal inspired by the Mediterranean, or given to little ones separately so they can try out finger foods and see exactly what they’re getting. By keeping the grains and the sauces separate, we’ve ensured the grains keep their texture and the nutrients are kept in the sauce.
I think there was a real gap in the market for something different and nutritious for little ones learning to chew and needing a bit more from their mealtimes, and the response we’ve had from parents shows how our pots are really helping them out.
Were you surprised at how fast and how well Piccolo took off initially?
Because I’m a mum myself, I knew that the products I was looking to buy weren’t around – and I knew that if I wanted to buy them, then other mums out there must also be in the same boat. Obviously it has been more successful and exciting than I could have imagined in my wildest dreams – we have just celebrated our 2nd birthday but are already stocked in all the main supermarkets nationwide, we’re the fastest growing baby food brand in the country, and have been able to help parents out for every stage of the weaning journey, from first tastes to a more developed palate and snacks on the go. I work with a great team and we’re about to go to Malta to celebrate everything we’ve achieved in true Mediterranean style!
Giving back is a big part of your company’s philosophy. How have you chosen who you want to work with?
We are committed to giving back at Piccolo and donate 10% of all our profits to charity every year. We also have our own charity, the Food Education Foundation, which we set up to help provide food education to families all over London (and hopefully further afield soon) who need some support and advice. Our co-founder Alice is also touring Tesco stores around the country this summer with our Piccolo Roadshow, helping to give parents nationwide top tips and ideas for how to set their little one up with a healthy relationship with food. It’s so important to us to speak to mums and dads all over the country and hear what they need, and get to help them with any questions they have around weaning. It’s one of the best parts of the job.
What’s on your future agenda?
Keep doing more of what we’re doing, and even better.