Take a Break. Be a Hero. Wundernuggets To Your Rescue.
As moms, we want the best for our family.
I was no different. Becoming a mom changes you as a person. It changes how you view life, and how you think, and completely redefines your priorities. You are responsible for not just yourself but these little human beings. You are their world. They are yours. It's a profound feeling.
This was my firstborn, 9 years ago. Life has never been the same, for all the good reasons. If someone said to me, I would quit my full time corporate job that I had studied and trained for, to start a food business, I would have said that's insane.
You start caring.
As a parent, you start caring. About everything. After the sleepless nights have gotten a bit easier, I started falling in love, all over again. With this little person that had the most magical of smiles. With every little cute thing they do, something turns inside you.. you start caring even more.
My son's first birthday
And then comes the pressure.
Crap, what am I going to feed them??!!! This little person is real with real needs. But what are those needs really? So I start educating myself on everything - parenting, nutrition, habits. Kids make you a better version of yourself, as you start to feel the responsibility on your shoulders to ensure they get a good life. I have become more patient, more responsible, and way more cognizant of the present and future.
And then the issues...
Ear infections, teething, textures, hand foot and mouth disease (I had never heard about it until we got it!) As a mom with a full time job, and sometimes travel, pretty soon I realized that there's just never enough time in a day. All those parenting articles I read didn't help as much when in a pinch.
Necessity is the mother of all inventions.
I started getting crafty.
If the kids are meeting their nutritional needs in their formative years, everything else is just gravy. For the nights when I just did't have the time to cook, or if my son was sick and didn't want to eat a "full plate", I needed foods that would just go down easy and that still offer a well balanced meal - i.e. a clean source of protein (either chicken or other meats or lentils), vegetables and if possible, whole grains like brown rice or chia seeds. But there just weren't any options in the stores that offered that value.
So I took to my kitchen. The first of my creations were Wundernuggets, as I knew, no matter what, my son would always eat a chicken nugget. And therefore, I found a creative way to combine chicken with plant-based protein sources like chickpeas, vegetables, and whole grains. My objective was to capture the essentials of a truly nutritious meal in every nugget. Wundernuggets quickly become a solution for day care lunches, a quick dinner rush, after sports practice hunger, and an overall hassle-free experience for me and my family.
The name stemmed from the fact they are just so heroic, and wonderful! Crafty Counter is born.
Crafty Counter is born.
One day, my son said to me, ‘Mom, these are so yummy, I wish everyone could have them!’. Something sparked inside of me. I always had a passion for food, ingredients and being smart about easy meal solutions. I said to myself, ‘That’s exactly what we’re going to do, son.’ Soon after I took a leap of faith. I decided to make these available to families everywhere.
My little son became my first 'employee' running the farmers market stall
A long hard journey, and a pilot launch.
Taking a kitchen recipe to something that can be placed inside a bag and sold in the stores - turns out, is WAY harder than I had imagined. After a little under a 100 formulations, and a lot of guidance from local Austin entrepreneurs, I finally was able to bring it to a 'marketable' form. We had a small scale pilot launch in late 2017 at Austin’s SFC Farmers Market and my own website, plus a handful of stores in Austin.
There was an overwhelmingly positive response from everyone. I then realized that wundernuggets solve a problem for busy families and kids, that’s very underserved.
I then invested into better packaging, figured out production, and partnered with regional consumer favorite retail chains like Central Market, National Distributors, and UNFI to build a path to make these available across TX and over time, nationwide.
So what does this mean for you?
We all have those moments when the best laid intentions just don't pan out. Or, we need that quick dinner or snack or lunch without sacrificing taste and nutrition. For those days, my dear awesome mommas - I say, have wundernuggets in your freezer! Pop them in the toaster or conventional oven, and have something tasty and ready to go for your loved ones.
Be a hero. Save the day. We got you. We love you.
Yours truly, Hema Reddy
Mom on a mission, Founder, Crafty Counter Wundernuggets