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OPN Connect Newsletter 251 · January 13, 2022

Serenity Kids Baby Food Features 100% Organic Produce


When Joe and Serenity Carr began talking about starting a family in 2016, the first thing they thought about was food.

The pair had both experienced significant health problems as kids. Serenity suffered from severe digestive issues and was prescribed numerous medications she was told she’d be on for life, while Joe had multiple social and physical challenges related to undiagnosed autism.

Joe and Serenity Carr, Founders of Serenity Kids, with their daughter Della

Soli Organic1 January 2022

As adults, they discovered the Paleo diet, which dramatically improved their physical problems and also helped Joe mitigate the challenges and accentuate the gifts of his autism.

“Food was a big important part of our journey,” says Joe, adding that when he and Serenity started talking about having a baby, she immediately began researching baby food options.

“She was very disappointed when she found it was all quite bad—not anything we would want to feed our baby or even eat ourselves,” he says. “She got pretty mad about it!”

Food was a big important part of our journey,” says Joe, adding that when he and Serenity started talking about having a baby, she immediately began researching baby food options.

Vitalis Jan 2022

At around that same time, the couple also happened to be at a place in their careers where they were looking to start something new, so they decided to create their own baby food company.

Inspired by what Serenity calls her “summer of nerd-dom,” in which she researched everything she could about baby food, the couple began developing recipes in their home kitchen and testing them on their friends’ babies.

From her research, Serenity had discovered that breast milk is “nature’s perfect baby food,” so she and Joe set out to develop purees that had the same ratio of macronutrients (fat, protein, and carbs).

Soli Organic2 January 2022

“We started cooking up blends of the most nutrient-dense, ethically sourced meats and organic vegetables and healthy fats,” says Joe. “All the babies loved it!”

The company’s first two flavors were Grass Fed Beef with Organic Kale & Sweet Potato and Free Range Chicken with Organic Peas & Carrots.

“We started cooking up blends of the most nutrient-dense, ethically sourced meats and organic vegetables and healthy fats. All the babies loved it!” – Joe  Carr

From the get-go, the pair decided to use only certified organic produce. “For us, organic produce was just a no-brainer,” says Joe, who notes that they chose to forgo organic certification for some of their meats due to the difficulty of certifying pasture-focused operations (though they do make their meat farmers sign an affidavit that says they use organic methods).

“We have a variety of reasons for wanting organic produce,” Joe says. “I mean obviously the health of our products for babies is key. We know that organic produce is safer for all people, especially babies. But we've always had a big environmental mission as well. And the damage that those chemical fertilizers and pesticides do to the earth is quite devastating. And then I think the taste and nutrition is better ultimately.”   

In a twist of fate, Serenity Kids launched its products online on August 5, 2018, the very same day Joe and Serenity’s daughter Della was born. “It was complete synchronicity—could never have been planned,” Joe says. “The products went live on our website, and we went into labor.”

NatureSafe Jan 2022

“We have a variety of reasons for wanting organic produce. ... We know that organic produce is safer for all people, especially babies. But we've always had a big environmental mission as well. And the damage that those chemical fertilizers and pesticides do to the earth is quite devastating. And then I think the taste and nutrition is better ultimately.” – Joe Carr

Not long after, Whole Foods called and wanted to stock Serenity Kids’ products in all its stores by early the following year. “So we went from our website and one little baby store in Austin to all 450 Whole Foods stores overnight in February of 2019,” says Joe.

Joe and Serenity Carr, Founders of Serenity Kids, with their daughter Della

Today, Serenity Kids is the fastest-growing shelf-stable baby food brand in the US and can be found in a wide range of retailers in addition to Whole Foods, including Sprouts, Natural Grocers, Target, the Kroger Family of Companies, Hy-Vee, H-E-B, Wegmans, and Harris Teeter, among many others. In total, Serenity’s baby food is in about 5,500 stores nationwide.

“So we went from our website and one little baby store in Austin to all 450 Whole Foods stores overnight in February of 2019.” – Joe Carr

Joe says retailers love the Serenity brand because it’s reinvigorated the baby food category, which had been declining for years. “Our theory is that it had been declining because millennial moms are dissatisfied with the sugary, grainy packaged foods that are too similar to the stuff that they grew up on. There's a growing awareness of processed foods among millennials and the problems with them.”

Ocean Mist Jan 2022

The company currently offers eight meat pouches, seven veggie pouches, and six flavors of grain-free puffs (which are a dry snack and one of the company’s newest product lines). All of the products in these three categories incorporate organic vegetables.

Serenity Kids sources most of its organic vegetables from Stahlbush Farms, based in Corvallis, Oregon, and Grimmway Farms, headquartered in Bakersfield, California. Stahlbush provides the company with organic beet, broccoli, butternut squash, orange carrot, green peas, kabocha squash, kale, parsnip, pumpkin, red bell pepper, spinach, sweet potato, and zucchini, while Grimmway supplies organic orange carrot, yellow carrot, purple carrot, and beet.

“Our theory is that [the baby food category] had been declining because millennial moms are dissatisfied with the sugary, grainy packaged foods that are too similar to the stuff that they grew up on. There's a growing awareness of processed foods among millennials and the problems with them.” – Joe Carr

“After working with Serenity Kids over the past year, it is evident that each member of their team is truly passionate about their brand and its mission,” says Gina Erb, technical sales manager at Grimmway Farms. “They have made it clear that partnering with organic vegetable growers and processors such as Grimmway is a key component to effectively achieving their mission."

As Serenity Kids looks to the future, it is planning for continued growth. “Our goal is eventually to be everywhere baby food is sold,” says Joe, who is careful to note that the company will remain dedicated to its core principles even as it expands.

“We have an integrity of supply chain that is top to bottom—from the microbes in the soil to the animals, to the farmers, to our employees and suppliers, to the parents and families, to the baby. We believe that if any part of that is harmed, it’s all harmed. We want all aspects of our business to be fully in integrity. As we grow and launch new products and become bigger, we’re going to maintain that level of commitment.”

Global Organics Group Jan 2022
OPS Retailer Registration January 2022

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