W/ JOE & SERENITY CARR
Joe & Serenity Carr make children healthier by offering nutrient-dense foods that taste great to kids and are convenient for parents.
They envision a thriving planet where children are fed, raised, and educated to be healthy, happy, creative human beings.
You can visit their website here
Use code 'HDYHPOD' at checkout for 15% off first time orders!
"I realized pretty quick that my mentors, the people in this space that ate the best, you know, who were the healthiest people, were making compromises for their kids' nutrition in the name of convenience." - Serenity Carr
"I started playing around with different kinds of diets. And then when I met Serenity, I really fell in love with her and the Paleo diet at the same time" - Joe Carr
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
Hello vitae misers Welcome back to The How do you health podcast brought to you by MSW nutrition. As always, my name is Alison and your co hosts for this show our nurse doza and Baldo at Tech sex Yogi. We're super excited about today's episode but before we get into it, I wanted to let you guys know that MSW nutrition is hanging out at native hostel all month so if you're in the Austin area come to the How do you help fest we have epic stuff happening every single day of the week, until December 28. I believe we even have a day of giving happening on Christmas. So if you're around, come by hang out, check out what we're up to. Very excited to meet all of you. And this month steel is also you can get 25% off on vitamin D dailies on the website. msdb nutrition calm. So if you want to stock up on some immune boosting supplements, that is the place to go. If you start a subscription, you get 25% off this month and then ongoing 20% off for the length of the subscription. So really, really awesome. And before we introduce today's guests, this podcast is brought to you by MSW nutrition. MSW nutrition is a supplement line designed to help support your body in as many ways as possible, starting with the liver. By helping to repair liver health, you're supporting your body's biggest detox organ so that it can do its job taking care of the rest of you. We carry supplements to help with mood, stress, energy, weight loss, gut health, immunity and much more. Any products carrying the MSW nutrition label will be produced in an FDA certified lab and contain the most bioavailable version of those nutrients possible. Make sure to check out our website at www dot MSW nutrition calm to see all the latest stacks to help you reach your health goals. This podcast is also brought to you by athletic outcomes. Athletic outcomes is Austin's boutique wellness studio focusing on functional fitness and sports recovery. Located in southeast Austin eo provides services such as personal training, group classes, pre and postnatal training, nutrition coaching, massage therapy, chiropractic recovery compression boots, and MSW lounge vitamin shots. It's your one stop shop for health and fitness. Check them out on social media athletic outcomes to stay up to date with their events and programs. This podcast is produced by flabs to fitness Inc. flats to fitness is an online wellness company that specializes in mindful eating personalized workout programs and offers a subscription workout program for 20 minute workouts you can do anywhere. We also have a brand new online workout community called online workout that acid is where we have three donation based zoom workout classes a week, and an amazing community of people who are all working to be healthier together. Please join below in the show notes. It's also a social media content firm for creation and scheduling of content and engagement with your fans on a variety of platforms, including this podcast. Find out more about flubs to email@example.com a BS to fitness.com. Today on the How do you health podcast we have the co founders of serenity kids, Joe and serenity car. serenity kids is a paleo Baby Food Company, which I think is awesome. And because it's paleo that means it encompasses all of the things that the Paleo Diet includes. Meaning lots of quality meat, vegetables, healthy fats, it's automatically soy and gluten free. So very, very cool. They have an awesome story and we're very excited to have them on the podcast to talk about it as well as some other things. So without further ado, here are Joe and serenity car on the howdy health podcast.
Alright guys, whoa, welcome to the how you health podcast this Friday morning. My favorite time of the week. We are going to be talking with john serenity car. They are the co founders of serenity kids. They're also the most awesome power couple you have ever met. I'm TexMex Yogi we got party started.
Jon Mendoza 4:09
Yeah, so y'all are really into health. I can tell ya, right, like your name dropping some things y'all have been do and all this. So let's, let's talk about y'all. So how did y'all get now?
Serenity Carr 4:21
I was two weeks old when I had my first ear infection and round of antibiotics. And just you know, repeat that multiple times a year throughout childhood and I was kind of a sick kid. I had a lot of junk food and it was the 80s my parents both work for they're busy. And eventually I started developing a lot of stomach problems as a result of all those junk food antibiotics and stress from all that craziness. And so I started in my teens, I started taking antacids regularly for like on a daily basis, and I did that for about 15 years and then I took another antibiotic one year ago. On the swimmers ear infection sometimes, and it just killed my stomach, I couldn't eat any any food or drink any water without serious pain and so on to the doctor. She gave me politic every day, you know, something stronger than over the counter stuff. And I went back for my follow up at two weeks and I said, I feel better Thank you see later and she said, No, no, no, let me write you a refill. And I said, Well, how long do I have to take this stuff? She said, every day for the rest of your life. And I'm glad she was so dramatic because I was like, it was a wake up call for me. You know, I'm like, Alright, this is crazy. I am 33 years old and getting put on a prescription forever. Like, what if I want to move to Africa or go on a safari or do something really exciting with my life? Like, I don't have a prescription? That's ridiculous. But I couldn't eat without pain. So I didn't know what to do. I called my dad, he's a shrink, he talks me down. And I'm like, Dad, I can't eat anything without this medicine. And he said, Oh, you know, you should probably go read the book I give you last year for Christmas, on the Paleo diet, and I'm like, you know, dumb dad, but he gives me books all the time. Read them. But I found it on my bookshelf, and it was Mark sistance, the primal blueprint. And I read it. And he also mailed me, Rob wolf, the Paleo solution, and just the intro to that book called an anthropology. I was an anthro major at the time. And so I was like, Oh, this makes total sense. Evolution to medics. unnatural processed foods were a huge portion of my diet. So I switched and I'm the healthiest I've ever been. I've kind of been on a health journey for the last 10 years. And I you know, lots of lots of veggies, lots of ethical meats, healthy fats, little bit fruit and nuts thrown in. And it works for me. Yeah.
Jon Mendoza 6:43
Wow. That's cool. That's cool. I could tell that you were into paleo, and the world of that because, you know, obviously, you said like, upgrade lab geometry and all this stuff, too. So is the same with you that you feel that,
Joe Carr 6:54
yeah, I'm autistic. So I wasn't diagnosed as a child. And they didn't know what to do with me. They called me ADHD, which wasn't accurate at all, I was really like, a loud, extroverted, social, autistic, and that kind of stereotype of Asperger's kids was like, very, you know, quiet and introverted and sciency. And that wasn't me. So they didn't know how to diagnose me. And so I didn't really have any supports. And I was just in trouble all the time, bullied a lot like excluded by kids. So a lot of social challenges a lot of physical challenges to now we know where that box is, if people are really sensitive to foods and toxins. So I was you know, a lot of stomach pain, I was overweight, like skin issues, and then all the all the behavior and emotional stuff. And in middle school, this semi-popular girl who was annoying one day, decided to take me under her wing, she said, You know, I'm gonna teach you to be cool. It was like, I will do whatever you say, you know, and she and her friends taught me how to be cool. And I learned the most important lesson in my life, which was that I can take feedback and become a better person that I could, you know, I started a social, you know, a personal growth track at age 12. Essentially, that is continued to stay always, you know, always looking for ways to improve to be better, got diagnosed with autism in college, and so started to learn more about that and learned, you know, the role, there's a lot of research on diet and how important foods are. So I started playing around with different kinds of diets. And then when I met serenity, I really fell in love with her and the Paleo diet. At the same time, paleo just really made a lot of sense, around optimization, like if I am trying to get rid of all toxins, and I know I'm sensitive to inflammation, and you know, and I want to be my best self, it makes sense to maximize my nutrition, ie things that are more likely to fit with my system, not create problems or pollution and give me the most energy, the most concentration, the most creativity, so that I can continue to, you know, be a top performer, which is, you know, I've always felt destined for something. That's also great. And apparently, it was just
Jon Mendoza 9:10
that was your calling all along. That's awesome. That's awesome. Yeah. So when did y'all start the company?
Serenity Carr 9:16
Back in 2016, we were actually at paleo FX, a local conference here in Austin. And I started kind of getting them fuzzy and maternal Joe, let's go meet the baby stuffs. You know, me, my family, and we didn't find anything. We'll just have to make our own babies. Ooh,
that's crazy. That's like our life.
I think we just need to do it.
Serenity Carr 9:40
Then the Joe was in the front. He had just read the four hour workweek. Nice.
Joe Carr 9:44
Yeah, I you know, was had started my own youth program. I've always wanted to change the world for kids since I had such a difficult childhood. So I was working in youth services, probably to Austin started my own youth program which was amazing program that failed because of just bad business sense. You know, I just had never in business before. And, and then I was working for a local startup who was teaching me sales leadership, which were the kind of things I needed to learn, but it was like 90 hour work weeks, and, you know,
five minutes on Tuesday, you
Joe Carr 10:15
know, there's got to be a better way. You know, I was like this, I got burned out after a year and a half and just quit not really knowing what else I was going to do. So read the four hour workweek. And Tim Ferriss outlines how you can start, start a project as a way to make money and start a business that impacts the world, but is not as much work for you hour per hour. And so he gives this kind of formula For what kind of product you're looking for what kind of gap in the marketplace, and I was looking at a variety of different products that I had in mind. And then we discovered we I've always wanted children, we were talking about getting pregnant having been part of the reason I quit was because I wanted to start a family and knew I couldn't have a kid workweeks. So, we're, we're at paleo effects discovered the lack of not only paleo baby food, but really decent baby food at all.
Serenity Carr 11:03
Yeah, so I kind of launched my summer of nerd dumb, I call it my summer 2016. I spent what, like in the infant nutrition world, I read lots of books, and podcasts and blogs. And conveniently, a lot of my paleo health mentors had just had kids recently. Like they were a couple years old by this point. So they had all blogs, you know, everyone asks me, what do I feed my kids. So I realized pretty quick that my mentors, the people in the space that ate the best, you know, where the healthiest people were making compromises for their kids nutrition in the name of convenience. And I realized that they were feeding their kids these pouches, but inside, it wasn't necessarily as nutrient dense as it could be. And most of the what was inside the conscious was fruit, which was fine, to some extent, but really, more nutrient dense options, you know, are healthy proteins, lots of healthy fats, there's virtually no fat on the aisle, and all of it really came from dairy, which is, you know, an allergen for some people, and not always the most nutrient dense option, either. So that's kind of how we,
we feed we feed kids.
Serenity Carr 12:10
We feed kids trash, like actual trash, waste from food production, some like boil down, you know, basically jam about, you know, in those patches, what they do is they have to cook the fruit for a long time, they could get a lot of water. And so it condenses it down to very sweet, sugary, syrupy kind of consistency, because that's what you need for it to be able to squeeze properly, right? Not liquid and all fall out
for the kids to crave that way. Right.
Serenity Carr 12:42
Exactly. So my, you know, I grew up a sugar addict. And I know the pain of being a sugar addict my whole life. You know, I didn't have to have stomach pain when I was nine years old. And no other kids do either. And so that's really I got mad after my summer of nerdom. And I realized what kids should be eating versus what was out there on the shelf, I just got really angry, that we feed kids, that's garbage. And that's why I was willing to take the risk. But you did touch on something that,
that I've thought about quite a bit where the idea that like we sacrifice for kids just because of convenience, because I just want them to eat something like that, you know, it's like I hear you saying no, so just eat something. And so I get that, right. And sometimes that took care of his kids. And I'm like, What else can I try to give you because I know that my responsibility is to feed you. And I'm looking at all these different options, and you're saying no to everything? And then say, Can you just please just eat something? I'll read your book already, you know, then that's kind of a years of sacrificing. And but we because we talked about, I mean, in our fact, as you can so many episodes, we talked about food, nutrition for that, and this lifestyle for this. And it's always for adults. Right? So this is kind of like one of the first ones that we've touched on for kids. Right? So
Jon Mendoza 14:02
yeah, Tricia has been a big thing. Doing what we do. We don't talk about
Jon Mendoza 14:09
before we had kids, you know, my wife and I kind of talked about what our approach would be. And we went all the way down to the, you know, vaccines, like how can we remember talking to our pediatrician, we sought him out and had a conversation beforehand, almost like an interview. It was really cool because I interviewed him. I didn't tell them what my background was. I was like, Hey, man, this we're parents, your parent. Right? Yeah. Cool. All right. So you understand the tar. sponsibility. Right. Yeah. All right. Well, will you be open minded to some of the things that we suggest because our kids were choosing humor, we hear great reviews and you're open minded? Is that cool? instead? Yes. And so we kind of embarked on our path to say we want to do what's best for our kids, because it's our bodies to we will take care of ourselves, right? And if that's the case, then imagine if we have someone who doesn't know anything about food, right? It doesn't matter if they're an adult or a kid. You still have to explain in a way to understand it to where they're like, hey, guess what? This is good for me. So when the kids eat, they have a lot of healthy raw foods like carrots, and grapes, and broccoli. You know why use broccoli? Because we tell them it helps them poop.
I love it. So
Jon Mendoza 15:14
use broccoli is like, hey, why your broccoli? Because I was good. And eat below bite. And it's awesome. Right? We're going to use that one for sure. Right? And it's cool. Because eventually, all you're trying to teach him is like, this is what food looks like, you know, get used to the smells, and use the texture get used to the different colors. Right? If you have a lot of colors on your plate, you know, like that's what I tell them. And you're right. There's no nutritional guidance when it comes to kids food because what's out there besides y'all course, is not great. And I went so far as look at the formula even right? Like the formula is very hard to find. I went so far as to say Do I have to make my own baby formula? Because everything here story derivative, like you can't get rid of it. And y'all talk about doing farm to table food. Right? So tell us about why y'all chose that.
Joe Carr 16:04
Well, we you know, it really started in the kitchen, you know, we wanted to the foods to taste really good. You know, we're like it's pointless if babies won't eat it. And one of the theories was why baby foods overwhelmingly sugary is like you said, it's hard to get kids to eat. And sugar is a is an easy trick way to get kids to eat food because it's hyper palatable, were hardwired to love sugar, because it's hyper, you know, it's high caloric. But it's also extremely addictive and inflammatory. So it's a it's a, it's a really dangerous trade off. And we tasted the non sweeping because there were a handful of very many, most of them, you know, it's average nine grams of sugar per pouch for those other companies. Less than 4% had meat. So we tried the 4% of the baby foods that have me and you know worse Adrian Piper and they were gross. They were all mixed with rice or lagoons, pears, you know, or some kind of fruit so they like tried to make them sweet, which of course neat and sweet scraps and the or they they added grains to cut it. So it was cheaper probably there were very oxidizing. Yeah, right. And then they don't add salt. And then they would they would low fat, they didn't have that. So it's like, if you think of like a lean meat with a grain in puree, like it's gross. Like, I don't want this, where it's just like a piece of meat, you know, more holistic flavor, it's probably got a little bit of salt or flavor. Like they might like that they don't have any teeth, so they can't. So it's you know, so it's like a conundrum for parents how to get their kids unique because they can't chew it they, you know, you can preach you at for them, which is what I often do. But a lot of parents don't want to do that. You know, you can make purees in the blender, which of course is a huge pain. So it ended up just kind of sacrificing meat or believing that babies don't like me because these grocery baby foods didn't sell or the baby wouldn't eat them. So like I think we could we could fix this with with really good recipes and serenity having been paleo and you know, and also a foodie.
Serenity Carr 17:54
Yeah, I realized that it that it was the if you trade sugar for fat, you're good. You know, it's the mouthfeel it tastes good. So what we decided to do was put foods that we eat into the pouch like our dinner, right? So one of our most one of our biggest bestsellers is our grass fed grass finished beef mixed with sweet potato and kale. Like that's what I was
Joe Carr 18:18
looking for dinner, go to a gourmet restaurant, you know, stay tuned. Okay. All right.
Serenity Carr 18:24
So balance of starch protein, it tastes really good. And the mission is to improve the health of kids by making convenient foods that are convenient for parents and tastes great tickets for nutrient dense, simple and if you use high quality ingredients, and you don't use a bunch of other junk and you know, we also taste tested on babies, right? We're like what what do you what do you guys want out here? So we're making foods in our kitchen, driving them all around Austin to our friends who had babies. You know, watching I'll never forget the first time we gave chicken pea and carrot with avocado oil flavor was one of the first ones we made and
Jon Mendoza 19:04
got a stack of sardines that he can't carry like a can of sardines with us all the time or Nava kado. Quick kitten. Yeah. It's perfect, right?
Yeah, I mean, I carry I'm a climber and there's always a pack of sardines and like that's it.
Joe Carr 19:27
Now you don't even have to choose.
Like, because I eat really fast and like I eat because I don't want to sit there and I want to go do something I want to eat so I can go play you know.
Jon Mendoza 19:47
Since we work together in the past four years, we don't really go out to lunch. You know how people have like business meetings, they must have had lunch. And like that's kind of a waste of our time because like, I don't mind sitting with you for an hour but both of us have to take 2030 minute It's time to drive there, then we have to have coverage for whatever we're leaving for, I want to show her phones all this, like, I rather just have a conversation with you, if we can make it fun, but then like all stand when I have a break for 10 minutes, and that's really all I need. And it's a simple if I can't cook it, you know, a man made it, I probably shouldn't eat it right. So if it's avocado, or tin cans, sardines pouch or something like we get prepped your door, as well. And so it's like, everything's ready made on the table, you know, and I look at what I go on to and feed my kids. And similar to what I eat, they eat what I eat, right? They like all kados because they see why we haven't, you know, what is that? That's awesome, you know, does that let me have some more, right and all sudden they're eating avocado, you're like, this is awesome. Because you always have a snack. And to eat healthy doesn't break the bank, right? Because I saw your prices. They're not expensive. I mean, they're not. Right, and it's right next to the same price as any of the other options. Right? And I think what your mission is, is doing as it clears up a couple things. One, you have a problem. Right? I saw a problem. I was like, Well, I'm not gonna create baby formula and create a company out of it. But you said no, why don't we write maybe this is our calling. Because if we want to see the change in the world, we have to do it. Yeah. So I think CPG is changing the world. Because every time you felt with a new product, even a new idea how to cassava flour you're talking about they're imagining something new, and all of a sudden it's like, Okay, this is the new norm now, right? All kids eat cassava flour, because guess what, all the school systems aren't worried about allergens anymore. Right? And if you're no nut base, and you're like, no allergens, and like, man, I mean, how much of an audience can you extend to? Yeah, exactly. Totally. That's awesome. Yeah. So you've been around for what, three years. We launched
Serenity Carr 21:47
our company four years ago. And then we launched our baby foods two years ago, it took us a while to figure out the production or it's actually kind of tricky. We launched on August 5 2018, the same day our baby was born nice.
Got the process started before you had we did
Joe Carr 22:01
the launch before we had a baby. But it was a lot harder. Before we were even pregnant. Like we were planning, you're pregnant when we discard I think that's one of the secrets of our success is like a lot of parents. By the time they realized the gap in the market they are they have a little kid and it's like how you gonna start a company, when you have a newborn, you know, like you're not going to. So we had a head start and then ended up getting pregnant and then having our baby on the same day the product launch was not
Jon Mendoza 22:27
So is it a day to remember on many different levels? Right? So like school, so. So we're kind of in the CBD world? All right. And for the people who don't know that the CPG is a consumer packaged goods? Is that what it is? And there's a lot of room here in Austin. Okay, so you've met a lot of people here in Austin, right? There's tons of startups on that. Wish advice would you give to someone? They're like, Well, I have a product that I want to create, and how would you even start?
Serenity Carr 22:55
My advice is to be your target market. Right? Most people have a product they want to create or try to fill a gap in their own lives. And if you don't really understand your customer, you're gonna have a lot of problems. So if you are your customer, that's
Joe Carr 23:13
Serenity Carr 23:16
And then for us, one of the reasons people ask you, how did you get so successful? And we say that we asked a lot of smart people for their advice. And we did what they said, you know, we didn't like second guessed them, like, pretend like we knew retail sales, because we didn't, you know, the thing that we know, is our target market, because we are our target market. And we know nutrition. So what do we do? You know, so we can fill in the gaps. We got many, many dozens, 10s of 1000s of dollars of free consulting advice, by just asking people for a little bit of their time, and doing what they said and going back and say, Look, we we do what you said, You got any other tips? Or like, Yes, I want to help you. You know, like everyone can get behind the baby. Yes. And, you know, we got some of our taglines that way people we have found to be extremely generous. Yeah. In that respect. And I don't know, what else would you
Joe Carr 24:17
say? I mean, I would say, you know, you have to make sure that that even that there's a market beyond yourself as well. So you got to be your target market. But then you have to make sure that a and Tim Ferriss really outlines this really well, like, he says the same thing, like, you know, find a niche community that you're a part of, and then there's a gap. But then you have to be able to fill the gap. And then you have to be able to get that solution to the people who want it. And so you need to make sure like that there is a market, there's people besides you that want this, that you have a way to make it and that you have a way to market it to them, like a way to spread the word. You know, whether it's specific publications or whatever, podcast so. So initially for us, it was the Paleo community. We were Like, we're gonna make paleo baby food. There's paleo podcasters paleo websites, there's paleo magazine, you know, like we can we can reach, we know how we could reach the Paleo people. And so then the question was like, how can we make the product? How do we get it? And that's when we discovered like, well, the resources required to make it are more than the Paleo community with support. Yeah, you know, so if it wasn't, if we weren't able to extend it beyond ala community, it would have been a dead idea. Like, we would have said, This isn't our sustainable business, because it cost too much to make it then then the Paleo community would support. And so for those products, you know, we were trying to do a shelf stable meat in a pouch, which is a very complicated production process. But most people's products are not that complicated, especially food. And if you can make it yourself and sell it locally, in farmer's markets, or a little grocery stores, like that's a great way to start to, like really learn your business. So a big advice is like, start really small and don't trip don't invest too early in a factory or big marketing schemes, or, you know, expensive consultants don't spend a lot of money. Another book I read is called the $100 startup, it's really focused on you know, how you start a business with almost no money, so that but until you identify that you can make money, and then spend money, if you know, like, I'm gonna make more if I spend it, then that's a great time to bring on a factory, bring on consultants or whatever, but like, really validate your product and the market for it, before you go too far into it. But eventually, if you like, really, if all that's working, you know, there's a, there's an all in approach that you do, at some point happen to like, double down and say, we're gonna make this work, and I'm whatever it takes, I'm gonna do it. And, you know, certainly, and I, you know, it was, you know, $100,000 worth of credit card debt. That was like our all in every money, we had, every ounce of credit we had was spent in, you know, getting the product to a point of validation that we could bring on investors. And, you know, and raise investment capital. But you know, we were really unique to raise money before we had sales for products. But the barrier to entry was much higher for our products. Since we're trying to do shelf stable baby food pouch, you're making a bar or drink or whatever you can make your
Jon Mendoza 27:17
kitchen, your business, your business again,
Serenity Carr 27:20
I knew that the house was the key, because 95% have a flat bottom in a pouch and are shelf stable. So unlike if we can't do this, right in this format, like I don't want to do we'll do something. Because that's what that's what's going to sell baby.
Jon Mendoza 27:38
What's so cool, yeah, um,
you want to make it identifiable as like, Oh, it's just a normal thing.
Serenity Carr 27:44
We didn't, we knew what we were putting inside would be weird. So we didn't want the outside to look or feel weird. It feels as familiar to people and trustworthy, right? This is our baby this is. So we needed to feel like stable and solid and, like, trustworthy. So that's the format also gives us
Jon Mendoza 28:05
such an incredible marketing approach. Because what you're really doing is you're marketing to babies and emerging the parents. Right. So it's interesting when I was when I first started a chiropractor, I would also have a chiropractic classmates. I was like, how do you get into the school system systems? You know, say, Well, really, you're marketing to the parents. So you can't market to like 14 year olds and expect them to understand what your sales pitches because they're just like, Mommy, can I get this? You know, like, that's all that matters, right? If they're driving or walking down the aisle. Your advertisement has to be that label that jumps out. That's why they have the cartoon characters on the cereal boxes, right? That's why they show up with frozen on they're like, oh, frozen. I know frozen cereal. I didn't eat it. What is this crap? I mean, if you're looking at I think it was a waffles. I won't mention my name. But very popular this year. It was like a mermaid waffle. Birthday cake. One is pink. Of course the mermaid one was like blue, like blue, like blue. And I'm just like, Alright, you can imagine all your eggs. Oh, of course not. Right? Of course not. It might be in the UK one or maybe some other place but not definitely here. And so. So when you when you talk about your community and all that what's interesting about it is the majority of people are still buying that crap. Which is interesting, right?
Serenity Carr 29:10
I forget that. You know, I kind of live in a bubble to some extent we do too. And you know, I we just went to Asheville, North Carolina last weekend to visit my family. And just even just being in the airport and watching people eat junk. I forget people eat trash. Yeah, well, I just started and my bubble
doesn't happen. What's really interesting because I, for the most part, I do no grains, no added sugars, for the most part, and there's times that I'm way stricter than other times. And it's so difficult just to not find one of those two things. You know, I always joke around about like, I went to go eat somewhere and I grab some salt packets, and they have sugar in it. And I was like why is there sugar in the salt packet and and Then I was looking at the company and it was made by the sugar company. Right? And it was just like, I just want salt.
Jon Mendoza 30:08
Salt is all I need is just some salt and the sugar company the same one problem said fat was the real cause. Right? That's right, like down the whole low fat or no butter kind of deal. So paleo is cool, because if you don't know and you've heard us talk about paleo all the time, we got our start effects. That's how we say paleo FX is a diet that basically is trying to promote health. And it's the most simple site just eat real food. That's really the concept eliminate possible inflammatory foods, and eat real food that came from nature. And it's the most simplest concept. You talk to nutrition. People ask us all the time, what kind of diet you should eat. Johnny javelina, remember that guy, he was the original juicer, like the original guy, big ol Bush, infomercial. Yes, yes, there is old guy, right? He lived like 95. I don't even like 100 pushups a day. And he says, Man, Ray, it's good. But you're doing a new concept to that, which is really cool. Right? It gives us hope. And this is why I have faith in humans, because you said all right, look, I know they say can't be done. You can't put me in the palette. And you can't say on the show. But we're gonna do it anyway. And we're gonna keep trying until we get it right. And then we get it right, we're gonna make it taste better and taste better. And recall another flavor. And another flavor, right? I mean, that's, that's powerful. Right? That mindset, you didn't have it? Just to start off with Did you? What was this? Like you knew, like foolhardy, like, there's no other way like this is it?
Joe Carr 31:31
You know, we knew at some some version of what we have now is what we believe we were going to get to we didn't know how hard it was going to be. Like, you know, but we did I would say that that if we were say, like, you know, it's been four years what products up on the shelf, I think would be pretty similar to what we have and
nice a bunch of new products coming out as well which
Joe Carr 31:51
I probably would have said all those would have been out already to like but you know, but you know, takes longer than I would like it to take but but ultimately, the making it easier if you could help the like parents what if either, like I think overall, kids are eat trash. And parents don't like the kids eat trash. I think that's like, across the board. We're like you said they want their kids to eat and there's, they're busy and it's hard to get them to eat. It's hard to find alternatives. So the food industry is really capitalized on this dilemma and made these very very cheap, hyper palatable trash foods that kids will eat, you know, mac and cheese chicken nuggets. And the health food companies have like started to make like organic mac and cheese.
Joe Carr 32:36
organic chicken nuggets. And it's like, you know, okay, that's a little better gluten free chicken eggs, you know, it's like it's a little better but it's like, you know, rice breaded chicken and you're calling it a health food. You know, it's like not even organic, because it's gluten free though. Well, being organic, and free. Like you're trying there's like no organic back. And there's no organic gluten free mac and cheese for instance, like cuz like, you know, conventional milk conventional rice flour, right? Crap. So it's like, we want it to be genuinely nutrient dense. So it's not as healthy, which means like, it's not gonna kill you. Like it's nutrient dense. You know, there's everybody counts. We say we're feeding a baby, and everybody you want in their body is really important. So we're gonna make him sugars, but it's got to taste good. So the kids like it and they learn that healthy food tastes good. And Impaler really brought was the low fat movement was like it's all gross. Yeah, so vegetarianism, and you know, all this stuff is like it was nasty. So we will think health food is gross and good food is bad for you. When actually the best food or the fanciest restaurant or the most expensive meal, it's basically paleo. You know, it's like steak, sweet potato, kale. You know, or like shrimp and asparagus, right? It is like a fancy food or like, Let's feed that to our baby. And then if you feed it to them early enough, they actually develop a palette that prefers those kinds of flavors and feed them sugar early. They prefer sugars right there already. Yeah, exactly. I got addicted really quick. And yeah, one in four kids is diagnosed obese. Now one in five is diabetic. It's
hard to get addicted to sugar.
Joe Carr 34:16
It's easy. It's more difficult, okay. It's like, you know, legitimately addictive and we've actually, you know, in
Serenity Carr 34:22
exploring expanding our product line we've been to some factories and they've said Well, you can't make this without sugar. Cuz no one will eat it. No people and they can they shut the door. Yeah, interface. And I'm like, Oh, I
Jon Mendoza 34:41
dropped off a boxer.
Joe Carr 34:45
We had the church board, you know, like ultimately the cost of high quality meat and veggies is going to be higher than fruit, you know, clarified jam. And so when we started we were double the price of the next most expensive you know, they were selling fruit puree Dollar 79 in Whole Foods, and we came in at 399. And everybody was like, This is crazy. Is anybody gonna pay this?
Serenity Carr 35:07
And they weren't sure.
Joe Carr 35:08
And now, you know, and then we became the top selling products and the whole foods like, you know, our chicken product makes more money than any other product on their whole baby food aisle, you know, because people were dying for it. They understand that it costs more than a baby only eats purees, six months to a year most anyway. Yeah, they want the best for their baby. And you know, so many people do
well, especially more on themselves, or it's like I could spend Totally,
Joe Carr 35:31
yeah, four bucks. Well, how much is a latte? Right? Yeah. No, it's
Jon Mendoza 35:35
like, an extra shot of espresso. Yeah. All
Joe Carr 35:39
right. This is a whole big meal, as opposed to a little fruit snack that's going to make them because they're gonna be hungry again, in an hour, they're gonna have a sugar crash that makes them cry, or messes up their sleep, or gives them you know, inconsistent diapers. Like all these problems people have with babies, a lot of them are food related.
Jon Mendoza 35:55
Yeah, I was gonna ask you. So what has been the educational piece that you've had to go to your audience? Right? What does that look like? The
Serenity Carr 36:01
biggest question we get is, how old is my baby have to be before I can feed them meat. And and people just don't. It's it's a misconception that you have to wait a long time until you can feed the baby meat. In reality, the baby has all the right enzymes in their mouth and their stomach to start digesting it. soon as you start real foods This is they're ready for solids, you know, sick anywhere between like six and nine month timeframe. Generally, for babies, there's a lot of different cues you can watch, right, they need to be able to set up so that they can swallow and don't have the food stuck in there. They need to be able to use the fine motor skills to hold it or pick it up and use their mouth motor skills to be able to move it around and swallow properly. All kinds of different uses interested but once you once the baby can start solids meat as an ideal first food. And in fact, too many veggies and too much fiber from fruits and veggies can disrupt their delicate digestive system.
So they sound very diverse,
Joe Carr 36:59
especially grain. grain is really hard to digest even for us. Great. Sorry, I digress. But you know, the pediatrician network still, you know, recommends
Jon Mendoza 37:10
rice cereal. A bad night that Oh, stop my baby from getting GMO corn. Yeah, but you give them they look at you like or what do you do? Yeah. You know, like, come on here.
Serenity Carr 37:21
Like a lot of formulas. The first ingredient is GMO corn, sir.
Jon Mendoza 37:24
Yeah, exactly. And that's the thing that what people don't have to don't always understand is that they don't have to label it. That it's in there now. Okay, natural flavors, right? That term can mean anything. It used to be monosodium glutamate, MSG, high fructose corn syrup, and aspartame. For now, it's a derivative of a copy of a copy of a copy and all of a sudden say what looks like pineapple at one point, but unlike what came from a petri dish, like there's no way that's a natural source, pineapple flavor. Right? How did you make my waffle blue? Like there's no way that came from blueberry? Like, there's no way right. So if that's the case, why do we feed our kids we don't really know. And so parents like yourselves, and myself have to go out of the way. And I'll never forget going down the baby aisle. The first time. I was like, all this sucks. Like, I should just give them my food. And I kept saying it out loud as like, I'm not going to do this. Like, I can't believe we feed our kids this crap.
Serenity Carr 38:21
Yeah, it's criminal. Yeah, it is criminal. And so
they should be able to break down the meat. Right? It's not like we're pregnant. And they're going to Yeah, well, we're really worried about breaking it down in your breast milk
Joe Carr 38:36
is you know, nature's perfect baby food. And that's really what we formulated our foods to mimic that it was breast milk because it's perfect baby food. It's 60% fat, calories from breast milk.
So it's a lot of fat,
Joe Carr 38:49
right? The rest is protein and carbs. And it's an animal product. Right? You know, I like to say a free range animals. Yeah, that's awesome. You know, and so, you know, so we were like, let's take, you know, really high quality meat and we knew that pasture raised that how animals raised affects its nutrition was a huge, you know, piece of the puzzle for us was like, we you know, really, we have to worry about what we eat, you know, so we like sought out the highest nutrition quality animal products which in addition to being nutritional, also the most ethical like the animals live the happiest life, the farmers are getting the most sustainable income, we were able to access regenerative farms that are actually making the planet better. So I've always been a big environmentalist and super concerned about climate change and and so when I discovered that we could buy meat that actually sequestered carbon, it was good for the planet. You know, it was like, well is amazing. We can tie in the health of our planet to help babies you know, which is all you know, all one piece plus health of farmers, animals, and families and everything in between. And so but you know, but fresh milks, animal products, people like waiting can be neat. I'm like, well, they're eating me. Right now, so meat is actually easier to digest than any other foods you could give them, especially starches, you know, or especially grains. And so you know, liver is an amazing first crop.
Jon Mendoza 40:18
We're not yet it's coming
Serenity Carr 40:22
out one of our buyers, you know, what do you think of this? Yeah.
Jon Mendoza 40:27
one has ever, of course. You'd like to hear that by now. Right? You'd like to hear like, yeah, we
Joe Carr 40:33
could ask for it all the time.
But every week, somebody likes you to live your account yet because people are dying to easy when you live, you probably see you've
Jon Mendoza 40:43
opened the doors for people to ask y'all out, right? Like y'all are now the standard when it comes to searching for kids. Like, I think that's what you might have intended to do at first, but not so quickly.
Serenity Carr 40:53
Yeah, we didn't think we were gonna grow this fast. We had advisors that told us, but I have to wait till the money comes in.
Jon Mendoza 41:00
Yeah, right. Yeah, but I totally get it. But like, I think we mentioned last time briefly, like, you have certain goals. And it sounds like they could change, you know, depends, like, you know, we could go this way to go that. But I think at least your next thing, right, which I'm sounding, it sounds like, it's more environmental, like the bigger picture, right? Like, how big is this going to go beyond?
Joe Carr 41:27
I think from a food standpoint, you know, we want to grow products with our baby. So she's two, now she just turned two. And she still loves our current pouches. But you know, there's lots of other foods that she's going to eat. And you know, it's inconvenient, we're busy. So like, we're eating our food as much as we can. But there's a little bit of compromise, you know, in the children's snacks arena, you know, some stuff has like some industrial oils that we know why, or a little bit of sugar, you know, so we're already starting to compromise on the snack foods, because it's just there's so little out there. So we're in the process of developing a product lines for older babies. And you know, we've got some coming out next month, actually. So stay tuned for those. And then next early next year, we have a couple other lights coming out. So extending the the product line is a big thing. And then for pressuring us to do that all the way through teenage years. Yeah, so
Serenity Carr 42:19
our immediate goal, I'm like, Alright, guys, blinders on. Right? It's the baby food aisle, we really want to upgrade everything on the baby food aisle. So anything that's on there, we've thought about upgrading or have plans to upgrade. So that's really exciting. And then I went to a nutrition, a kid's nutrition conference back in November. And the they shared all this data, it was amazing. And it turns out that though, most poorly nutrition population is 10 to 12 year old girls, which breaks most malnourished
Joe Carr 42:55
category across all racial and economic divide.
Serenity Carr 43:00
So I'm like, I've got eight years. So I have a 10 year old girl. So what can I do? And I just visited my nieces, who were eight and 11, or almost 11. And my sister said, you could just got to make it taste like a doughnut. I'm done.
Jon Mendoza 43:17
I will make this awesome, awesome.
Serenity Carr 43:21
Like, I don't, I don't know.
You know, and we'll make that happen. But
fortunately, that's also the age group and demographic that has the most
Joe Carr 43:38
that same psychological and emotional, and I mean, all kinds of things and its own huge hormone growth period. So it's super sad. And I think that it built building up to that, you know, starting in infancy, essentially, to prepare for that age group, which then if they make it past that hump, ideally, they become healthy adults. And so you know, nutrient dense that tastes good and is convenient. Yeah, you know, that's the secret sauce that that nobody else is really doing. Because there's other companies have to have the, you know, the nutrient dense where no one cares. That's convenient taste without nutrient you know, or the maybe it's nutritious but doesn't taste good. So, so that combination for me, I want to change the way we raise and treat kids in general in society. You know, as a kid who didn't fit the box, you know, I was punished a lot. I was shamed a lot had a lot of psychological emotional healing to do from the way I was treated as a kid in the school system and by adults and by peers and having worked with kids a lot I see that as an autistic kids to deal with that like every kid on some level battles, this shame oriented way we raise and treat kids you know, we have kids are the most oppressed group on the planet ultimately because all other factors of oppression compound You know, kids of color, or, you know, low income kids or kids disabilities or whatever, are oppressed even more, you know, with within their own groups. So did I really, you know, have a vision for a world that's free for children where they have the right to express themselves where they have the right to have the same decisions that affect their lives, where they're not treated as property, where they have the right to explanation for the rules and boundaries that they that we set for them, you know, that's not because I said, so. You know, and the school system, you know, is this, this hammer all these kids into one box mentality that just is not working for our economy, or for kids psychological states. So I really want to change that. And I, you know, treat creating baby boomers, part of that was to get access to parents early, so that I can like, teach them the trust. Yeah, exactly. And then now for our parents, so we're blogging and making videos and all this about our experiences with our daughter and how we're raising her and, and how how, you know, we embody this respectful parenting, our IE Rei, Rei, there's this, there's this really powerful approach to parenting, it's all about respect, it's all about like treating them essentially, like adults, like you wouldn't say or do anything to them, you wouldn't do to an adult, which means you start to set boundaries and protect them and you know, enforce boundaries. But even with adults, we set boundaries, and we don't let people do things, you know, in our lives we like, so, but but it's not like with gimmicks, it's not with tricks. It's not with bribery and punishment, and, you know, wise, you know, it's crazy how many lies? Like, it's just nuts to me, you know, and it says, so easy to do. I mean, I find myself being like, No, we don't have any more strawberries. You know? What I mean, is
staring at him, right?
or whatever, right? It's like, actually, no, I need to be strong enough to say, No, I'm not gonna let you have any more strawberries. Like, I have to be the bad guy, rather than like, you know, but there's a lot in there. Once you start that slope, it's just you lie, lie, lie. Like,
Jon Mendoza 47:04
I can see why. They're
Joe Carr 47:06
super rude. And so that's just one of many things that I want to change the way we treat kids. And so that's my long term goal is to be you know, because people need help parenting, nobody knows how to parent, can you Google it, there's a million different things. So you know, I have my own serenity, parenting calm. So I'm gonna write the serenity parenting book. And we started doing Instagram posts and blogs on surrounding our surrounding parenting idea, which is mostly disrespectful, parenting, that's, you know, how to raise kids that are healthier, you know, physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, socially, you know, the holistic approach to crazy kids, every parent once,
Jon Mendoza 47:43
once, and we looked at the state of our public education right now. I know. I know. But I'm just saying though, if that is the case, then you have a big opportunity.
Joe Carr 47:54
It's a mess. And you know, COVID is actually a huge opportunity, because suddenly homeschool, which is so many parents thought I could never do. Now suddenly, they're realizing Oh, it's actually you know, it's hard. But it's not impossible to have your kids at home. And you know, so we're really trying to really try to look at creating more materials on like, just don't worry about academics at all. Like, just don't worry about it a lot of great battery,
Jon Mendoza 48:19
nor about a test. Yeah,
Joe Carr 48:20
the activity, social emotional development is the most important thing that intermix will come with their own interest if they want to. Yeah, yeah, they'll figure it out. And like us education system is generalized. It says, We want to teach everybody a little bit of everything, which is our economy is specialized, the richest people, most successful people, it's because they pick one specific thing and become really, really good at it. And yet, our education system is not doing that. It's not rewarding, specialized approaches. And it makes people kids feel stupid, because they're not good at math or English or something that isn't actually doesn't mean anything to what they want to do in life.
Jon Mendoza 48:56
Oh, totally agree. I was reading something about Einstein. So that the author was Einstein wasn't very good at math. Well, the reason why is because he wasn't motivated. He was like, in class, it was environment. They said, he said, it's like, I didn't feel comfortable in my environment. So I didn't want to be there. So I didn't want to learn how to learn environment. you're uncomfortable, right? Like kids would pick on me and bully me like, why the hell do I want to sit there go through that? Yeah,
Joe Carr 49:15
that's what's hierarchy. Yeah, you know, like, you can't self actualization, that that's the very top and yet, we're not meeting all these basic, the basic safety. Now parents have an opportunity to do with kids at home, they can create that safe environment, that loving environment where there's no shame and where there's no pressure, and where whatever they want to do each day they could do and trust that they have this natural desire to learn and become better and grow and create which school ruins like it turns learning into a chore or something that they hate. It makes them want to like check out and play video games because they're detoxing from the pressure in the shave all day. There's like a scene to escape. Now, you know, but if you take all that stuff away, you know, video games are always going to be an appealing thing, but like, ultimately they'll do lots of other things. Just left to their own devices.
Jon Mendoza 50:19
Know, like, I
Joe Carr 50:20
believe we can have a society of kids that are we did for 1000s of years and to go into the Paleo story, kids were integrated into society. They learned by doing they want it, they were excited about metalworking, they found a metal worker and learn metal working. You know, they're excited about going food. They watched the farmers group. You know, it's like, there was no teachers, like anybody was to teach something.
It was it was communal, right. I think the right steps so far away from that. Yeah. It's not like you're the parents you take care of?
Jon Mendoza 50:49
Sure. Yeah. It's my responsibility. Honestly, I find him have him to help out in certain times, there'd be no way if I have my parents in town. Right? There's certain friends that are here that like, I'm willing to watch them. I'm like, really, you would do that? Because they know how hard it is to now. Okay, cool. But still, I get where you're coming from the communal aspect teaching a skill set is a very hard thing that I think the systems are not designed for us to know anymore, right? Didn't emphasize you changing your tires anymore, changing your oil anymore, learning the cars and how they function right? to learning where food comes from how to grow food. You know, one of the things I worked on the top produce more food, you talk how would I even know how to raise and grow food in order to get to that point to where I can tell you whether or not it's organic or not. is being food in my backyard organic? Oh, why not? Oh, because the soil back in there is essentially something that I have to worry about as well. So yeah. Okay. So
that's, that's really interesting. I get to babysit his kids. He loves to meditate. Like every time he sees me, he's like a folder on Kabbalah. Kabbalah we're gonna meditate today. Yeah, like, we're definitely doing that, right. And it's just love that. You don't see that, right? That just doesn't happen so often basis because every time when we started the business, I'll take two grand a month, and just let me stay at your place or friends. I live with him. So over a five year old, he saw me like, every morning when I sit there and meditate, and he comment, I try to bother me. And I wouldn't let him because I can't do anything. And at some point, he understood, like, I'm not going to bother him, but he's not gonna listen to me, right? And then at some point, what are you doing? Right? It's like, well, I meditate. And so what does that mean is that I just close my eyes, and I listen to my thoughts. So then at some point, you just started doing it. Right? And it was like, it's really interesting, right? Because I never, that wasn't my, that really wasn't my intention. It was more like, just you're not gonna bother, because this is my time. Yeah, you know, give me 10 minutes, and then I'll go do what I need. So he was like, Can you turn on the TV for me? I was like, you're not bothering me right now. I'm just gonna pay attention. So you learned that eventually, right? So. So like, you're right, like, if they want to learn things, they become so interested that they just want to learn. And we've lost them, right? Because it's like trying to force it. I went to kindergarten in Mexico. So my older cousins, equivalent, like fifth or sixth grade, they were having to pick what they wanted to do as a career. And it wasn't necessarily a bad thing, it was more than why not focus on anything, you could always change it, but at least this is something they were already excited about. And we're gonna put all their efforts to that. Right, which is so interesting, like you said, like, we try to teach them everything. And how much of that information is
Joe Carr 54:03
great because it shows how important role modeling is. I think a lot of parents are pretty scared that because they may not want their kids to do material. So the biggest opportunity of having a kid from spiritual growth standpoint is to like get our behavior in alignment with our values because and I have included like they're gonna eat. Like you can have them eat healthy food, if you're eating junk, like just will never work, they will always want to eat. So you know, it's an opportunity to level up your behavior and then tie in everything. His kids are great.
But it's super intimidating.
Because you have to be disciplined to do all this stuff. Oh, man. So what's next for you guys? What's the next step for you? Yep,
Joe Carr 54:50
we got all these new products coming out. We're growing really fast. We're actually the fastest growing baby food in the country. So where the rest especially COVID is has caused
Retail sales to be a lot down a lot fewer people are going to stores but our sales are already higher than they were pre COVID so we're doing better than the rest of the category and growing really fast and so you know overtaking trying to really expand our retail distribution in the natural channels specifically and then grow our online business because that's been huge and COVID people ordering through their home so finding ways to make it easier for parents to To order online get it you know, get it sent to them and get the new products that we're hiring a bunch of new people you know, as we grow we have to build the team we're looking for an expanded office space where people could work social distance you know, so we've been mostly remote and you know as people want to come back we want to create more space so that we can have some in person stuff that still be useful be safe Yeah. So you know all this kind of natural
working they find you where the all that the listeners have definitely put it on the show notes. Yeah,
Joe Carr 55:59
sure. Our website is my serenity kids calm, it's where you can get the best deals and sign up for subscription and find out about all the newest products and all that we're also on Instagram and Facebook my skinny kids, my kids and we're also present on Amazon and Thrive Market online and then we're retail we're at Whole Foods nationwide sprouts nationwide. Locally, we're going to all the big eg B's you know wheat spill and all the little stores where it almost pretty much every store in Austin at this point. sells baby food and the National lots of regional chains. We have a store locator on our website with some coupons you can download to take into the store if you don't mind.
Sweet, but thank you guys very much. We will continue this conversation on the next episode sometime soon.
Jon Mendoza 56:47
"I got mad after my summer of 'nerd-dom'. I realized what kids should be eating versus what was out there on the shelf, I just got really angry that we feed kids that garbage. And that's why I was willing to take the risk." - Serenity Carr
"I've always wanted to change the world for kids, since I had such a difficult childhood."
- Joe Carr
You can find the How do you Health? Podcast on Twitter @HDYHPodcast, and use #HDYHPod to submit speaker ideas, health questions, or topics you want discussed!
You can follow Joe & Serenity on Instagram @myserenitykids
Flabs to Fitness, Inc.
Hosts - Jonathan Mendoza, MSW Lounge; Baldomero Garza
Guests - Joe & Serenity Carr
Podcast production - Allison Wojtowecz (Flabs to Fitness, Inc. - www.flabstofitness.com), Andy Havranek [@ajhavranekphoto]
Guest coordinator - Baldo Garza
Intro song - Benjamin Banger