500 West Coast Hwy
Newport Beach, CA 92663
“There’s a trend in food right now where people want to go back to the basics. People want to know where their food is coming from.” – David Moldovan, Co-Owner of Organic Babies
rika and Dave Moldovan have two adorable kids, Emery and Augie, both under the age of four, “One still in diapers,” Erika emphasizes with a laugh. You could say life is busy for the Moldovans. You could also say that preparing good food is a big enough deal in their family that they would never sacrifice quality for convenience. Erika is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, and Dave, also a culinary school graduate, is a chef and former Chef de Cuisine at Five Crowns in Corona Del Mar. The couple met while working at Five Crowns six years ago. First came love, then came marriage, then came two babies in a baby carriage — and a whole lot of homemade baby food.
As a new Mom with Emery, Erika juggled hours making fresh, organic baby food. Beautiful, non-GMO fruits and veggies filled her kitchen. On hectic afternoons she’d roast or steam her bountiful produce, low and slow, then blend it in a Vitamix with only a touch of purified water. As a mom, the hard work was worth it; She made the purest, most nutritious food possible to feed her growing baby — but in retrospect, it came at a cost.
“I look back to when my kids were both little babies,” Erika reminisces. “And I just can’t believe how quickly time has already gone by. And especially with Emery, I can’t believe how much time I spent making baby food! Quality time is crucial. Had somebody made fresh, organic baby food that I could trust, I would have been a customer.”
Erika, like many new moms, knows how vital proper nutrition is for her babies development. Studies show early nutrition is essential to building a healthy brain. Doctors recommend breast milk for the first six months, but after that, breastmilk can’t provide the necessary amount of iron and zinc that babies need, which is why supplementing a variety of colorful food like pureed sweet potatoes and kale is imperative. And we all know, healthy habits tend to stick when you start young.
Thus, parents of young children like Erika and David, are lovingly tasked with providing nutrient dense, nutritiously balanced food for their babies. Baby food purees found in your average grocery store is a good start, but many contain preservatives, and all are heat-treated for maximum shelf-life— which significantly diminishes their nutritional value. Because children under the age of two are especially vulnerable to nutrient deficiencies, if not addressed, their future health can be compromised by immune deficiencies and developmental growth issues down the line. It’s no wonder then that quality baby food is a hot topic for parents.
Parents in the Moldovans community agreed; We need fresh, organic baby food.
Organic Babies is Erika and Dave’s answer to a hole in the Orange County market for organic, baby food that is preservative free and 100 percent transparently produced. Ultimately, they were inspired by their two young children to create their business to provide future generations with the most wholesome, organic food vital for their optimal development. With their combined food industry knowledge, the Moldovans opened the doors of Organic Babies in early 2018 in Newport Beach. It’s a mom and pop shop that provides parents with a healthier, more nutrient-dense alternative to your average baby food.
But, here’s the beauty, Organic Babies is not just for babies. It’s a broader concept meant to feed the whole family. Heat up their carrot puree with a little bit of ginger and lemon, and you have an easy dinner to please everyone in the family. Trust the Moldovans; they’re chefs.
Their purees are silky smooth with a quality taste that only begins from using excellent ingredients. Remember the first time you tried a carrot, plucked straight from the earth? So this is what a carrot is supposed to taste like, you think. Now, imagine that flavor as a smooth, healthy puree. Feed your baby some puree for breakfast, then add a scoop to your morning smoothie for an extra kick of nutrition.
Go into Organic Babies and likely you’ll find David cooking a batch of organic apples in a large tilt skillet. Erika is at the counter, chatting with customers, all of whom she knows by name. When the apples are soft enough, they’ll puree it with an immersion blender and chill it in a blast chiller. There’s no heat-packaging here. The blast-chiller brings their puree down to just the right food-safe temperature before they package each jar or pouch by hand. Their packaging room swells with cases of jars; lids fill another box, and labels, yet another. Once the puree is chilled, they’ll fill the jars, one by one and package them for easy pick-up by eager parents who have placed their orders online.
A human-touch at Organic Babies is important to the Moldovans and is one of the reasons why the couple wanted to take that leap to provide their community with healthy food for their growing families.
“There’s a trend in food right now where people want to get back to the basics,” explained David. “People want to know where their food is coming from.”
The Moldovans know that for parents, transparency is essential; especially when it comes to food for the most important people in their lives. Their seasonal fruit and vegetable purees are always minimally processed, in small batches to control quality to meet their exacting standards. They source their produce from trusted local purveyors like South Coast Farms in San Juan Capistrano. Often, as a family, the Moldovans visit South Coast Farms and The Ecology Center to teach their children where their food grows; a strawberry doesn’t magically appear out of nowhere. It grows from the ground; David tells Emery this, and his eyes light up.
Soon enough, they’ll offer classes at Organic Babies to provide fun, educational experiences that will help young kids fall in love with healthy food. In this sense, Organic Babies is more than just a store, its a community gathering spot where families come together to celebrate healthy food.
Right now, just in time for summer, their popsicles are a fun addition to the menu that both babies and adults enjoy. Enjoy your own popsicle in flavors like Blueberry Carrot Kale, or give your teething toddler a Strawberry Sweet Potato Cucumber pacifier-pop to soothe their aching gums.
I think we can all agree; the most deliciously ripe, organic fruits and vegetables mean nothing if you don’t have time to prepare it. Sometimes life gets in the way — okay, let’s be honest— most of the time life gets in the way, and although your intentions may be good, your farmer’s market fruits and veggies are not; They’re quickly wilting in the corner graveyards of your fridge, an afterthought behind the long list of the priorities you already have as a parent.
In cases like these, The Moldovans are happy to help. It takes a village to raise a healthy child. Isn’t it nice to know that someone else cares about your family’s health as much as you?