Get to know the superwomen in your community in our new series, Interview with a Mamapreneur. We’ll be featuring local entrepreneurs & moms to find out how they run a successful business—and household. This month, meet Nomena…
1. Tell us about your business.
Farm to Table Meals is the solution to those evenings when busy parents are just too busy to cook. Our healthy (and affordable!) alternative to take-out delivers kid-friendly meals (prepared from scratch and made with quality ingredients) right to your door. All meals are fresh (not frozen), and can be stored in the fridge or the freezer.
Our service doesn’t necessarily replace everyday cooking but gives families a break a couple of nights a week. Prepared meals can be particularly helpful during busy times at work, when a family welcomes home a newborn, when a partner/spouse is travelling, during home renovations, when moving into a new home, or on babysitting nights.
2. Tell us about your family.
I was born in Madagascar (where I met my husband during a visit) and grew up in France (where we were later married). We moved to Canada 10 years ago as my husband was transferred to Toronto for his job. I’m mom to a 4-year-old girl named Callie and a 2-year-old boy named Owen.
3. What led you to become a mamapreneur?
Finding the time to prepare healthy meals for the family after my first mat leave proved to be more challenging than I expected. When life got too busy, my “Plan B” was often highly processed fast food. When I’d search for a quick, healthy, kid-friendly alternative, I found that there were very few choices out there. So it was the challenge of juggling work and home demands, coupled with limited healthy options, that motivated me to start Farm to Table Meals. I wanted to help make life easier for busy moms and dads in Toronto by providing meals they could feel good about feeding their family when they are in a crunch. I also wanted to enjoy a more flexible work schedule, and knew this would be possible if I were my own boss.
4. What are your strategies for running a business and a household at the same time?
I have a babysitter take care of my children for 15 hours each week so that I have dedicated time for my business. I also make sure to bring home a couple of meals from my own company on a weekly basis. And my business partner and I will sometimes have our business meetings at the park while our kids play.
5. What do you do to de-stress?
I play in a tennis league, have occasional spa days, go out for drinks or dinner with friends and try to have regular date nights with my husband. I also binge-watch Netflix shows with a glass of wine and a piece of dark chocolate at the end of the day—especially when I am solo parenting!
6. What are your biggest challenges when it comes to finding time for yourself?
I am so busy during the day that I am often too tired to plan anything. It once took me two months to redeem a spa day that my husband gave me for Mother’s Day. Planning requires so much coordination as I need to make sure any sort of “me time” fits into my work schedule, my kids’ schedule, my husband’s schedule, and sometimes the babysitter’s schedule.
7. What qualities do you look for in a babysitter or caregiver?
Someone who is able to think on their feet, a good communicator, reliable, honest, patient and responsible. They also need to be kind but firm. And fun.
8. How often did you and your partner go on “dates” before kids?
Once or twice a week.
9. How often do the two of you get out now?
Once a month at most.
10. What are your top 3 favourite date nights?
1. Couples’ spa day,
2. A meal at a very kid-unfriendly restaurant
3. Sunset walks along the beach
About Nomena Raharinosy
Nomena Raharinosy is passionate about travel, food and tennis. She loves to discover new cuisines from around the world and takes much joy out of the ‘slow life,’ like spending hours at a dinner table while sharing a good meal with friends. As a former competitive tennis player, she still enjoys a good hit on the court and loves to watch a great game when she can.
About Farm to Table Meals
Farm To Table Meals provides busy families in Toronto with an affordable and healthy alternative to take-out meals and highly processed fast foods. Their recipes are world-inspired with flavours from France, Italy, Morocco, India, Brazil, Mexico and North America. They aim to use a wide variety of ingredients, herbs, and spices but make sure to prepare them in a way that is enjoyed by young children—even “picky eaters.” Their kid-sized meals make great meals on the go, and are perfect for nights with the babysitter.
Special discount for Datenight members: Use promo code FRIEND2015 to receive 10% off your first order.
This post was brought to you by Datenight Babysitting — Toronto’s leading mobile app connecting parents with experienced, local babysitters — with thousands of dates booked in the GTA.