Babies are naturally the centre of attention when they are born leaving their mothers little or no time to prepare healthy meals regularly. Susi Leyck, 36, had similar experiences when her daughter was born. In 2014, the advertising professional decided to turn her predicament into a business idea and founded the “Gesund & Mutter” online shop offering a wide range of balanced food in glass jars for young mothers. Leyck will venture into VOX TV’s “The Lion’s Den” show on Tuesday (November 1st) in the hope of attracting a jury member as an investor. Two lions could have a decisive impact on her company, if everything goes her way, said Leyck.
Hamburg News: Susi, how did Gesund & Mutter come about?
Susi Leyck: I founded Gesund & Mutter in 2014 after the birth of my daughter, Frida, when I was on parental leave. I realized quickly that there is a real market gap for online shops offering healthy food in glass jars for young mothers. In addition, my products also appealed to broader target groups. So in the same year, I founded Fein & Fertig, which has a broader base, but still includes Gesund & Mutter as the most important brand. The meals are cooked in a big kitchen in Hamburg. I hired two employees in August who help me mainly with administration.
Hamburg News: What did you do before setting up your own company?
Susi Leyck: I am an advertiser and spent several years working in various agencies. I helped set up a music publishing company parallel to Gesund & Mutter. I decided to become totally self-employed to make a success of the company.
Hamburg News: What is special about the food?
Susi Leyck: A healthy diet is particularly important after giving birth. Our complete meals have lots of vitamins and trace elements and we do not use any preservatives or flavour enhancers. The ingredients are shown clearly on the jar. The meals keep for up to six months by preserving them in glass jars. We have a broad range of products including meat and vegetarian dish boxes. Meanwhile, we have added vegan meals in glass jars to the range of offers.
Hamburg News: How have you prepared to pitch on the show?
Susi Leyck: The preparation period was short, but intense. At the time, I was in the middle of restructuring the company and I was holding talks with producers. The newly-designed packages were getting the finishing touch. To prepare for the show, I checked company figures and a friend, who is also a financial expert, helped me set a business evaluation.
Hamburg News: What do hope from an investing lion?
Susi Leyck: Small businesses rely on processes that work automatically and without too much work. I could use help expanding the technical infrastructure, the web page and dispatch. I would also be glad of input about social media and marketing. Judith Williams and Frank Thelen and their know-how would be particularly exciting. If a deal is not reached, I will still expand my team and try to gradually increase my marketing measures.