Belov was born at the same time as Flavie, the daughter of Stéphanie Rochon, co-founder of the company. It was during numerous telephone conversations – pandemic obliges – with her best friend, Laurie Gauthier, that the latter began to tell her of her disappointment with the offer of baby food products in the store.
“I thought it was frozen in time,” says Stephanie Rochon, adding that many of the products currently on sale are the same ones her own grandmother bought decades ago.
“Often there are fillers. There is water added. It is very unnutritious, she lists, describing the products offered at retail. There are even added sugars. The baby isn’t even 1 year old yet. For me, it didn’t make sense to see this on the shelves. »
Based on this observation, the two friends, who both wanted to take up a new professional challenge, decided to jump into the void together. While Stéphanie Rochon comes from the restaurant industry, Laurie Gauthier comes from the world of finance.
In founding Belov, “Steph” and “Lau” – that’s how they challenged each other throughout the interview – set themselves a very specific goal: to raise the standards in the baby category by putting on the market for healthy meals and oatmeal cereal from here.
Thus, since October 2022, Belov branded products can be found on the shelves and in the freezers of Metro, IGA and Pasquier supermarkets. On the menu: frozen meals of salmon, chicken, beef, lentils and chickpeas. These are not purees, but dishes whose ingredients are textured, therefore in small pieces designed for children from 9 months to 2 years old.
The marketing of these products, prepared in two factories by subcontractors, did not happen overnight. The development of the recipes required a phase of “baby tasters” accompanied by their mothers in order to evaluate the dishes. The duo also consulted pediatric specialists, nutritionists, occupational therapists…
The innovation, according to the two young women, lies in the quality of the product and the origin of the ingredients. “This is a quality ready-to-eat meal to give away without the guilt. »
And the oatmeal – sold in bags in Jean Coutu, Familiprix and Brunet pharmacies – comes from Saint-Félicien, proudly specifies his sidekick. Real fruit has also been added. These cereals can also be used to cook pancakes or muffins.
Today, little Flavie is 3 years old and Laurie Gauthier has become a mother herself. The founders of Belov, whose offices are located in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, in the Laurentians, already intend to launch new product lines, one in the fall and the other in the spring of 2024. .
Although they currently only have a team of two employees – themselves – the two friends are already thinking of conquering the belly of babies in Canada as a whole. “We want to refresh the entire baby category to raise the standards,” says Laurie Gauthier. Nothing less.