Angela Sutherland

CEO and co-founder, Yumi

Mom of two

When Angela became pregnant with her first child, she spent months researching nutrition. She discovered that scientists consider nutrition in the first 1,000 days to be the most important environmental factor in development. Unhappy with the baby food options readily available to her, Angela got inspired, quit her corporate job, and co-founded Yumi. 

Yumi delivers fresh and healthy baby food directly to your home at the frequency and volume that you choose. They'll even pair you with one of their certified dietitians who can work with you to develop a customized food plan for your child as they transition to solids and finger food.

We're excited to share more about why Angela started Yumi, how she felt about quitting her corporate job to start her own business, and what her return to work from maternity leave was like. Read on for more!

The Returnity Project: Tell us all about yourself and about your company, Yumi

 

Angela Sutherland: 

I’m the CEO and Co-Founder of Yumi, a venture-backed nutrition and wellness company for babies and toddlers. Before starting Yumi with my co-founder, Evelyn Rusli, I was an executive at a private equity firm, and worked at Goldman Sachs before that. I graduated from Brown University with a degree in mathematics.  I have always loved the process of finding solutions to complex problems.

With Yumi, we wanted to make it easier to feed your baby fresh, delicious, nutrient-dense food. Recognizing the importance of nutrition in the first 1,000 days of life, our intelligently designed, science-backed blends provide balanced meals to support babies’ neurological and physical development. To ensure maximum nutrition and flavor, we have an in-house team of experts that includes holistic nutritionists, plant based chefs, doulas, doctors and more. We offer a weekly subscription that delivers fresh food to your doorstep, with a rotating menu of flavors every week.  Today’s parents are busier than ever, so Yumi provides a worry-free option that makes mealtime just a little bit easier!

TRP: What inspired you to create Yumi, and what gave you the courage to leave your corporate job and start your own business?

 

AS:

During my pregnancy, I did a lot of research on early childhood nutrition. The more I learned, the more upset I became about what seemed like only two very subpar options when it came to solid foods for my baby. I could either cook every meal from scratch (and who has time for that?) or buy a product at the grocery store which I knew to be shelf stable, highly processed and full of fructose. I felt like parents needed to have a better choice -- a convenient, nutrient-dense ready-made wholesome option.  It wasn’t easy quitting our jobs and getting started, but we couldn’t ignore that gaping hole in the market. We’re thrilled to now be providing a completely new, fresh choice for busy parents.

 

TRP: Many of the stories we’ve shared on The Returnity Project focus on both the challenges and beautiful moments of motherhood; specifically the return to work. What was the return to work like for you?

 

AS:

​With each child, returning to work was really difficult, of course!  Nursing is so hard. The physical elements are hard. Becoming a mom was what inspired me to start this business in the first place, and I think that is a beautiful thing.  Fortunately, I have an incredibly supportive husband, and we also brought on a really wonderful nanny. I can’t emphasize enough that raising children takes a village. Whether you’re lucky enough to have family or friends close by to provide that village, or whether you have to outsource help like we did, my recommendation is always to surround yourself with people who enable you to thrive.

TRP: What advice would you give to other working moms?

 

AS:

Don’t beat yourself up. There’s so much mom guilt -- typically self-imposed, but sometimes imposed upon us by others. Despite what it may look like on Instagram, no one has it all or does it all. We all require help, and we all royally screw up sometimes as well. But in almost all cases, our kids won’t remember that one classroom presentation we missed, or the time we were late picking them up from preschool. They’ll just remember feeling loved.

TRP: What are you most proud of?

AS:

I’m so proud of the way we’re changing the conversation around childhood nutrition and impacting our customers lives on a daily basis. I still get chills when we get messages from parents detailing how much their baby loves our food, or the ways in which our service has helped make their lives easier.  We still have a lot of ground to cover, but I’m so proud of the impact we’ve already made.

TRP: Anything else you'd like to share?

AS:

We are expanding our delivery service into new cities every day!  Check in and enter your zip code at HelloYumi.com to see if we deliver to your area.

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