Sally Preston, founder and Managing Director of Babylicious Ltd, has over 18 years experience within the food retail & manufacturing sector, most notably 11 years with Marks and Spencer, where she rose to a senior Food Technologist position.
Sally’s career began when she completed her BSc (Hons) in Food Science (having been awarded the Sainsbury’s award for final year project) and went straight to work for Marks and Spencer. During her time there she was heavily involved in developing the reputation of M&S prepared foods as world-class leaders.
In 1999 Sally left M&S to set up her own Food Technology Consultancy, ‘Food Solutions’, working for a number of well known clients. As a member of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) and the mother of two young children, Sally, aged 41 is highly qualified for her new role as the founder and Managing Director of Babylicious Ltd.
Sally set up Babylicious in September 2001, having hit upon the simple yet revolutionary concept of producing frozen baby food when she became a mum and spent hours in the kitchen pureeing food for her two children.
The first product was launched in May 2002, and during the last year the company has grown rapidly with mothers instantly relating to the concept, providing tasty high quality real food to babies but not doing it themselves!
Sally was so convinced that this was an untapped market that she re-mortgaged her home and borrowed from her parents to set up the business from her kitchen and dining room.
For years parents have been cooking, pureeing and freezing baby food into ice cube trays and as an experienced food scientist Sally was surprised that there was no existing supplier of frozen baby food into major retailers.
Today, a mere ‘toddler’ at only four years old, Babylicious is the biggest manufacturer of frozen baby food in Europe with discussions taking place to introduce the brand to parents across the globe.
Babylicious has scooped a number of impressive national and international awards.
During 2003/4, Sally picked up a prestigious collection of accolades including the top prize at the HSBC ‘Start up Stars’ Award, for ‘Best New Business’ beating off competition from over 500 UK businesses. She used the £20,000 prize money to pay back her parents for their investment in her company.
She has also won an IGD award for ‘Outstanding Small Business’, Sage and Daily Telegraph Business Award for ‘Best New Business’ in addition to being a finalist in both the Ernst & Young and London Chamber of Commerce new Entrepreneurs category. In addition to a merit award for innovation from the British Frozen Food Federation.
In October 2004, Babylicious scooped international honours in Paris at the Sial Food & Drink exhibition, being awarded a prestigious ‘Judges favourite for trends and innovation’ and also winning the Food from Britain 2004 award.
In June 2005, Kiddylicious was launched; a follow on range of frozen meals for toddlers and ‘little people’. The range of 8 delicious products has been developed to comply with strict EU guidelines relating to food for children under 36 months. Kiddylicious contains absolutely no added salt, sugar or any additives and is nutritionally balanced to suit growing children. Kiddylicious is to be sited in stores along side Babylicious.
Babylicious boasts one of the most famous fans of all; Victoria Beckham fed Babylicious to her son Romeo when he was a small baby and now Cruise is being brought up on it.