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The Boston Globe

Food & dining

G Cover

Birth of a food business

SOMERVILLE — It all sounded so simple. Jessica, Jocelyn, and Janine Aston had a great idea. The three sisters, all in their 20s and raised in Saugus, have worked as nannies in the Boston area for years; among them, they’ve cared for dozens of kids, including 25 sets of twins. The kind of parents who employ these young women are the same kind of parents who’d be interested in feeding their little ones organic, wholesome, unadulterated baby food made from local ingredients. Those same parents, the Astons figured, might also appreciate the convenience of having this baby food delivered to their door a couple of times a week.

Thus was born the concept of Lil Foodie of Boston, the area’s first fresh organic baby food delivery service. Through Craigslist, the sisters teamed up with Seth Fernald, a Boston chef and father of now 8-month-old Olivia. Fernald, a native of Pepperell, was just as excited as the Astons about the business, both from a personal and a professional standpoint. The team proceeded to develop recipes, source environmentally friendly packaging, work with area farmers, and promote their products. They were even fortunate enough to have a licensed kitchen for the venture: The owners of Journeyman restaurant in Somerville, Fernald’s employers, were happy to have Lil Foodie use the restaurant for food preparation during the morning hours, when the space would otherwise sit idle. After a year of planning, the Astons and Fernald were ready to make their first delivery on a Wednesday afternoon in late October.

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