There’s a new Bahraini startup on the block with a mission to revolutionize the kingdom’s homegrown FoodTech industry. If the name Sprouting Journey rings a bell, you have already heard about this disruptive new force.
As for those out of the loop, Sprouting Journey is a new and fast-growing company that prepares pre-cooked, nutritious food for young children. And by “pre-cooked,” we don’t mean the run-of-the-mill processed food that you can find in your neighborhood supermarkets.
The startup offers food that is quick to prepare, yet delivers the same taste and nutrition as your little one would get from a freshly cooked home meal.
StartUpBahrain recently got together with Sprouting Journey founder Razan AlShehabi for a one-on-one interview. Here’s a brief rundown of what she had to say about her journey as an entrepreneur so far, the vision behind Sprouting Journey, and its future goals, among other things.
The vision behind Sprouting Journey
Sprouting Journey was founded by Razan AlShehabi, who holds a background in culinary arts from Le Cordon Bleu. But even more importantly, as Razan confided, as a mother herself, she can relate to all those Bahraini parents who have been historically struggling to find alternatives to processed food for their children.
“At Sprouting Journey we thoughtfully craft nutritious foods using flavors from around the world for children aged 6 months and up, it’s like having a nutritionist and a chef in your freezer!” she noted.
The startup relies on blast freezing to preserve freshly cooked food. This way they are able to lock in important vitamins and minerals without requiring to add any potentially harmful additives and preservatives.
Recalling the beginning of her vision behind Sprouting Journey, Razan added, “As a health-conscious parent, the convenient weaning options available were not the standards I wanted to set for my son. Combining my background in culinary arts and my passion for nutrition I decided to develop his purees myself.
Apparently, the concept of using blast freezing as an alternative to preservatives gelled well with many parents, prompting Razan to take the idea to the next level by building a business around it.
The health-impact of Sprouting Journey
As any pediatrician will tell you, the first 1,000 days are the most crucial for the development of a child. This is not the time you would ideally want to feed your little one those highly processed baby food that lacks nutrition and has limited options when it comes to flavor.
As Razan pointed out, odds are there that those food were lying in those supermarket aisles for months, or for that matter, even years, before reaching your baby’s tummy.
She added, “As parents, we prefer feeding our children fresh homemade meals, but when there isn’t time for preparing and cooking we’ve got you covered.”
The entities that supported Sprouting Journey in Bahrain
Saying that Bahraini startups are fortunate to have access to both financial and non-financial backing, Razan named Riyadat Mall, Tamkeen, Bahrain Development Bank, and Bahrain Polytechnic University as some of the entities to have played important roles in Sprouting Journey’s journey so far.
“We are so grateful for the community support in our workplace, Riyadat Mall’s management team and BDB’s team in Riyadat Mall’s branch, have become like family to us constantly keeping our morale high. Our kitchen equipment and marketing have also been supported by Tamkeen.”
Achievements and challenges
About the startup’s achievements so far, Razan noted on a proud note:
“Taking the company from the idea stage to executing a full-blown and fast-growing startup with all the obstacles faced is definitely a milestone well achieved. Raising our seed round was another. We have hit every target that we have set to date, and I am confident we will continue to do so moving forward.”
As for the challenges, she pinpointed the rather lengthy regulatory approval process.
“Obtaining our MOH approval alone took over a year! Timeline was definitely a major barrier, & you know the saying ‘Time is Money,” she noted, further adding finding sustainable packaging solutions has been another major issue.
New announcements and future roadmap
Razan told StartUpBahrain that besides the recent launch of Sporuting Journey’s exclusive e-commerce store, the company has made its products available in AlOsra Saar, Janabiyah, and Amwaj, with more locations coming in the next couple of weeks!
As for the company’s growth ambitions, the Sprouting Journey founder candidly stated that Sprouting Journey’s immediate plan is to capture a significant market share on its home turf Bahrain.
She added, “We will then expand into the MENA region, helping one household at a time raise a generation prepared for a lifetime of health, happiness, and meaningful contribution to the world.”
For any additional questions regarding this interview or Sprouting Journey, don’t hesitate to reach out to StartUp Bahrain using any of our social media channels over at Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.