Lucie Thome Is Helping Parents Seamlessly Introduce Their Babies to Solid Foods. Here’s How.
Lucie Thome, Founder and baby nutrition expert at Bébé Foodie, is providing parents with the tools necessary to introduce solid foods to their babies.
Lucie had always been passionate about food and was keen on trying out recipes and experimenting with new flavors. As her son, Hugo, started growing up, questions arose around the types of solid foods he should be eating. Lucie then realized she wasn’t alone in questioning what a baby could consume and when. To address these critical questions, Lucie became a certified nutrition consultant and began sharing her passion and expertise for baby nutrition. Thus, Bébé Foodie was born.
We asked Lucie about what makes Bébé Foodie different from similar companies, the biggest misconception others have around entrepreneurship, and why she believes welcoming fear is a necessary step toward success.
Q: Tell us the story behind your company’s founding. How and why did you start working on Bébé Foodie?
A: I love to cook, discover new flavors, and combine ingredients, so naturally when I moved to the U.S., I started exploring the food culture here to combine it with my French heritage. When I was pregnant with my son, I was talking to parents about baby nutrition and how it was done here in the U.S. This topic has always been a passion of mine, so even before becoming a mother myself, I started researching the baby food industry and diving into education around nutrition for babies and toddlers compared to what was made available in my home country.
Then my son Hugo came along. At his six month mark, we started the solid foods introduction. That’s when I experienced first-hand how much information was out there and how complicated it could be to make it easy and flexible, and to find options that don’t involve reworking an entire family’s schedule. That same year I decided to get certified as a consultant in nutrition while juggling my full-time job. In June 2021, after 10 years in luxury marketing, I quit my job to work on the launch of Bébé Foodie. I want to share my passion and expertise with other parents and show how it can be done in a fun and easy way. Bébé Foodie is all about balance, options, and what truly works for each family, with a French touch!
Q: What makes Bébé Foodie different from similar companies?
A: As I progressed in my research on the industry and how parents go about introducing solid foods to babies, it was clear to me that there were two groups of parents: the ones who do everything from scratch, and the ones who exclusively rely on store-bought foods. Whatever the reason for going each route, one thing was true for both of them: the guilt. All you can see on social media today are perfect parents introducing 100 different fruits and vegetables to their babies by the time they turn nine months old or perfectly crafted lunch boxes. It is putting a lot of pressure and stress on parents.
This is why Bébé Foodie exists and why we are different. We offer personalized guidance to parents through consultations, content, and a soon-to-be app—helping them find the right approach for them and their babies as easily as possible. We give parents options and flexibility so they can get a service that matches their baby’s preference but also their own schedule and lifestyle. Essentially, we tell parents that they can make a beautiful meal one day and offer a baby food pouch the next. Either way, they will still be good parents. They have options, and Bébé Foodie will give them good advice and no stress.
Q: Did you always know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
A: When I was 18 years old and I had to make a choice of which path to choose for my studies, I felt that it was very overwhelming and scary. Society makes you believe that the choice you make at this moment of your life will be forever, and that you won't be able to look back. I loved to write and was dreaming of becoming a journalist. My parents discouraged me and wanted me to go to business school because it was more "secure." So that is what I did. But I always felt that something was missing. After studying marketing, I entered the coveted world of luxury, getting my first job in high-end lingerie and later climbing to a senior manager position at LVMH.
Ten years later, as I was applying to a new position in the high-end cosmetics industry, I had a wake up call. I decided it was time for a change. I quit my job and launched Bébé Foodie. I believe that my past experiences in the luxury and corporate world shaped me as the detail-oriented, hard working, and resilient individual I am today and I will always be grateful for these skills. I don’t compromise on quality when it comes to my business. I don’t believe I expected to be an entrepreneur until I surprised myself by becoming one. But one thing is for sure: there is no going back!
Q: What’s the biggest misconception that others have around entrepreneurship?
A: I know I have evolved and progressed so much this past year, yet I still have an entire world to unfold and discover. When the idea of starting Bébé Foodie came to mind, I had a partner. We were very much complimentary in our skills. But very early on, my partner decided to not join the venture. At the time, that was very scary and it took me a few extra months to decide if I wanted to pursue it alone. I’ve learned more about myself and what I can accomplish than I ever did before. Entrepreneurship is not an easy ride. It’s like pregnancy, no one really tells you what it really is about until you are in it.
For months I learned to trust myself, to shut down the imposter syndrome, to give myself credit, and to follow my gut. The work that you put on yourself as an entrepreneur is something you will use and leverage your whole life in both personal and professional settings. Entrepreneurship is very rewarding, even if it is such a rollercoaster. I am still at the beginning of this adventure and I am excited to discover this universe, even if this is the most out of my comfort zone I’ve ever been.
Q: Have you struggled with self doubt as an entrepreneur? How do you navigate this?
A: As an entrepreneur, the fear of failing takes on a whole new meaning. When it is your own business and skin in the game, this feels different. When you start fearing failure and your brain sends you a warning message, you either imagine the worst and hault everything; you still go for it but with so much precaution that it’s exhausting; or you go for it but with total discomfort.
Learning how to navigate this feeling is key to being able to move forward. I had to completely relearn my way of approaching this fear of failure and it is still a work in progress. It is important to constantly remind yourself that failure is a normal part of the process; that it doesn’t define your value as a human being. Failure is a vague concept. But taking risks can be measured. I am learning every day that the only way to never fail is to not do anything. But if you don't do anything, then you won’t succeed either. Welcome the fear and learn not only how to fail, but how to fail well.
Q: How do you celebrate successes along the way?
A: I am learning every day to identify success in things I do and to celebrate them, even if it is by treating myself to my favorite cookie or by taking the afternoon off. I have a wonderful coach helping me with this. I am very proud of myself for taking the step of launching my own business, and I am proud of my expertise. I have already started helping parents through consultations and seeing the change that it brings to their life fills me with joy. I can’t wait to reach out to so many more parents through my growing platforms to make it even more accessible to all.
Networking communities such as Dreamers & Doers are a big part of what makes me successful. I strongly advise entrepreneurs to join a collective for support throughout their journey. My coach is also my rock through it all and my best advocate to both empower and challenge me on my way to success.
Q: How have you grown as a leader since starting your company?
A: Being the captain of the ship across the board and on every topic makes you grow as a leader. For me, that means leading the charge on the tech side of things, from building my website, SEO strategy, and starting the wireframes of my app. Even if I am hiring experts to help, I am still the one making the decisions and I am gaining a lot of confidence in my leadership skills.
Q: What would you tell your younger self if you were to start your entrepreneurial journey all over again?
A: If I were to start my entrepreneurial journey all over again, I would definitely tell myself to be bold and think big. Taking risks can be scary, but this is what will create and shape your dream business. It took me a while to understand that. While I know this is part of the journey, I definitely feel like working on gaining this trust in yourself and in the process early helps to move a little faster. While my journey has been shaped by this learning, I am so happy with what I gained from it so far and would definitely do it all over again!
Lucie is a member of Dreamers & Doers, a private collective that amplifies the entrepreneurial pursuits of extraordinary women through thought leadership opportunities, authentic connection, and access. Learn more about Dreamers & Doers and subscribe to their monthly The Digest for top entrepreneurial and career resources.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.