This story was originally written for The Spenardian.
Zoi Maroudas, founder and CEO of Bambinos Baby Food, opened the doors to her new storefront on Sept. 1. A ribbon cutting ceremony took place the day before, in which Gov. Bill Walker was in attendance.
“This all started with the idea of helping parents find real, traditional food that is dedicated to infant quality nutrition,” Maroudas said.
Maroudas saw the need in the market while she was in medical school, where her focus was on geriatrics gynecologic oncology.
“It took me about eight months of research and development,” Maroudas said.
Bambinos offers gluten free, vegetarian, combo and pescetarian options for infants. Maroudas currently has 15 people on staff, but plans on hiring more employees soon.
“I saw that there was a complete disconnect between what was happening in the medical environment and what was going on and what was available,” Maroudas said.
Even though her children do not have allergies of their own, Maroudas has always been attentive in what she is feeding them. Maroudas developed a peanut allergy prevention cookie that helps babies become desensitized to acquiring a peanut allergy by 80 percent. The cookie is created specifically for infants to build up natural immunity with the exact amount of peanut protein.
Maroudas was working on Bambinos during her off hours at Pizza Olympia, a staple pizza joint in Spenard that her parents own. Her parents lent Maroudas their kitchen so that she could further explore Bambinos.
Maroudas is a Spenardian herself, but travels often for health conferences and speaking engagements. She has had several celebrities try Bambinos, including Martha Stewart, Gwyneth Paltrow and Hoda Kotb. Maroudas was interviewed on The Hoda Show where Kotb tried the Hali Halibut, and said that it “is a perfect meal for on the go.”
“Those are just beautiful testaments,” Maroudas said.
Sweet spring veggies, yummy yams, filet mignon vegetable stew, and sockeye salmon bisque are a few of the many products that Bambinos offers. All ingredients are grown from certified organic and natural farmers, many of which are Alaskan.
“Nutrient wise, we are seven to 10 times as nutritional as baby food brands because of our Alaskan ingredients and because of how we make it,” Maroudas said.
Bambinos address is 2819 Spenard Road, just around the corner from her family’s business, Pizza Olympia. They will be open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.