Childhood friends – now time-short, food-loving parents – Philippa Askham and Tanya Mitchell launched nutritious baking brand Sweetpea Pantry last year. They won Richard Branson’s Foodpreneurs Award in 2014, and told us about their mission to make nutritious food for kids easy.
‘We’ve always been passionate about children’s nutrition but we found it hard to find time to feed our kids well. Then we decided to create baking mixes that would save people time and energy but not compromise on great-tasting, healthy ingredients.
Tanya and Philippa, founders of Sweetpea Pantry
‘When developing our recipes, we worked with paediatric nutritionist Belinda Blake. Along the way, we spoke to a lot of people who love baking but don’t know how to make it nutritious. They’d heard of things like quinoa but felt it’s a bit ‘out there’. And they knew they should cut back on sugar and add wholegrains, but didn’t know how. We thought about what kids like to make and eat and added the nutritious angle without making it too complicated.” Result? A range of good-for-you baking kits – everything from pizza dough (flax and chia, anyone) to pancakes – and not forgetting choccie biscuits and flapjacks (with ‘yes, we can use’ quinoa).
‘Our kits are perfect for time-pressed parents who can’t cook from scratch all the time but want to give their children nutritious food.
‘We didn’t realise our gluten-free products would be so big. Our flapjacks were re-launched this year to be gluten free. So many products are sugar-loaded that people were excited to find a health-conscious brand. We want to make our products flexible so they can be made dairy-free, too.
‘We’d like to develop the Free From (gluten-free) and savoury angle, which is where we’ve seen our strengths. Long-term, we want to launch on-the-go snacks, which are natural, contain wholegrains, and have less sugar.’