Tanya Caters To Kids By Making Food Fun And Healthy!
What’s your story?
I am a former restaurant designer turned entrepreneur and the founder of Fusspot & Foodie.
The concept for F&F was born from my passion for healthy eating and fuelled by experiences from my own parenting journey. As a working mum who clocked long hours, I would often look for pre-packaged, kid-friendly food products to make my life easier. Long story short, I was astounded by the lack of options that were kid-friendly and healthy, which also didn’t taste like bland cardboard.
It made me realize that we needed to pay urgent attention to what our kids are eating and prioritize high-quality nutrition for their growing bodies.
Big corporations invest big money into products aimed at attracting children, so many of which are nutritionally poor and can have devastating effects on their health. So, it is up to us little guys to be the voice of change and to educate not just ourselves, but also those around us.
What excites you most about your industry?
There is never a dull day in the food biz! I love that we get to push ourselves, to experiment, and keep evolving, to create more value for our customers through health-giving products and services. I also love the fact that we get to interact and chat with our customers and really get to know them.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and raised in India but we have called Singapore home for 11 years.
Favorite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore, because as a first-time business owner, the process to set up and operate a business, as a foreigner, could not have been easier! Other than Singapore, I think I would love to someday do business in Pune, India where I was born and spent most of my formative years. What used to be a relatively quiet university town, is now a vibrant city and home to people from many parts of the country, and the world.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
As an entrepreneur I hold three lessons close to my heart:
The first is a quote that one of my senior professors in college would often refer to which applies to both my personal and professional life – “Ensure Karma (the process) is right in the action. Let Phala (the reward) evolve by itself.”
The second piece of advice, from my late grandfather, is what I remember when I invariably second guess myself while facing an unexpected situation – “First, say YES. You can figure out how to get it done later.”
And the third is from my husband, Vineet – “Declutter your mind and remember to get out of your own way.”
Who inspires you?
I am inspired by the experiences I’ve had and the lessons I’ve learned throughout my life, about ordinary people, who, when faced with extraordinary circumstances, turned it around and kicked ass! My mum is most definitely one of my heroes and I owe my never-say-die attitude to her influence..
What have you just learned recently that blew you away?
That I am grossly under-qualified to parent my 7-year-old. LOL! She is smart as a whip and blows me away with her eloquence and fire-cracker personality!
On a more serious note, I am both humbled and blown away by the unwavering support of our customers who believe in us and continue to cheer us on during these trying times! Some reached out to us with unique opportunities for corporate collaborations, others are using their time at home, during the lockdown, to send us delightful videos of their kids reviewing our food – and loving it! These are the things that make me so happy to be doing something that brings value to people.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
This is a tricky question to answer because most decisions that we make seem like the right ones at the time, but it is important that we learn from the decisions that did not serve us well.
Looking back, I think I’d want to be better at delegating tasks. Trying to be a jack of all trades may have saved us a bit of time and money temporarily, but delegating would have permitted me to be more efficient with my time and resources.
How do you unwind?
I enjoy listening to podcasts and am really starting to enjoy guided meditations at the end of each day.
Favorite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
It is very difficult to choose only one! Vietnam, for its stunning beaches and amazing food.
In India, I’d have to say, Goa, because when I’m there, I feel like a carefree 18-year-old!
Everyone in business should read this book:
“Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step,” by Edward de Bono.
Shameless plug for your business:
Fusspot & Foodie is Singapore’s first of its kind, kid-focused catering business that is on a mission to make healthy eating easy and fun for kids and their families.
As a mum-led business, our goal is simple – to offer a range of services and products that are high quality, nutritious, and downright delicious, but most importantly, ones that kids actually love!
Our experience with events catering has given us unique insight and expertise in the kind of foods that kids enjoy, which has inspired us to create our own line of ready-to-eat food products for kids.
Wholesome food made with high-quality ingredients and healthy cooking methods is at the core of our business values. Our food and products do not contain any artificial preservatives, flavorings, food color, refined sugar, or msg.
In short, we are committed to offering Singaporean families convenient food options for their kids without compromising on health and taste.
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connects’ series of more than 1000 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built, and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’, and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.