Episode 196
June 11, 2024

Baby Steps to Big Bucks

with Ben Lewis, Founder and CEO of Little Spoon

About this episode

What does it look like to bring innovation to a static industry? A lifelong love for entrepreneurship and the food and beverage industry led Ben Lewis to take a massive risk to disrupt the baby food industry, and with $90 million raised to date, it certainly paid off! In this episode of Stairway to CEO, Ben shares the story of continuing his dad’s legacy in business, finding out-of-the-box solutions to the complex problem of manufacturing his product, and much more!

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In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

•   [01:05] Ben Lewis’s first taste of entrepreneurship as a child and how he continued his father’s legacy, starting with a bottled water start-up.

•   [12:00] His exposure to the food and beverage industry by developing a Greek yogurt brand.

•   [15:50] Learning essential lessons through bootstrapping a food distribution company.

•   [20:45] Ben's involvement in angel investment in the food and beverage space.

•   [21:48] Founding Little Spoon with the motivation to disrupt a static industry, naming the product, and developing the product and packaging.

•   [28:46] Product expansion and the philosophy of growing with the customer that underpins Little Spoon’s growth.

•   [34:30] Surprises on the road to building a D2C business, including an unlikely partnership with a tamale company.

•   [40:25] How Ben’s role has evolved with the company and Little Spoon’s approach to talent.

•   [42:29] Fundraising in the baby food industry, finding a new approach to return on investment, and what’s next for Little Spoon.

 

To Find Out More:

Little Spoon

Ben Lewis on X

Ben Lewis on LinkedIn

The Equity Studio

Kairos HQ

Lee Greene on LinkedIn

Stairway to CEO

Stairway to CEO on Instagram

Awesome CX

 

Quotes:

“You could have the best product in the world, the best brand in the world, and even the right team and the right capital – but ultimately so much of it, especially in the traditional retail space, depends on the distribution and what happens at the point of sale.” [0:15:14]

“For the right brand and the right product, having a direct relationship with your customer is so critically important.” [0:19:17]

“Being detached from your ultimate customer is a real hindrance to building a brand.” [0:20:01]

“There’s a big opportunity for us, not just within that baby stage with the baby blends, but for Little Spoon as a brand to be the go-to as that kid is growing up and as the family is growing.” [0:31:32]

“[We’ve grown our business] largely through growing with our customers.” [0:31:48]

“That was how we started. We turned this manufacturing roadblock into a very unlikely partnership.” [0:39:29]

“One of the things I’m most proud of at Little Spoon is that we’ve had extremely low attrition, so our retention is literally best in class.” [0:40:58]

“Optics matter, but at the end of the day, you need to do what’s right.” [0:44:35]

 “For us, it’s about listening to our customers and finding where those pockets of opportunity are.” [0:46:59]

“We’re building a brand for a new generation of parents.” [0:47:42] 

“As an entrepreneur, you’re often having to choose between speed, quality, and cost.” [0:47:54]

“Don’t aim for perfection.” [0:48:46]

Read the transcript

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