Julia's Child by Sarah Pinneo, 279 pages. Available in paperback, ebook, Kindle, and Nook from Plume.
A delectable comedy for every woman who's ever wondered if buying that six-dollar box of organic crackers makes her a hero or a sucker.
Julia Bailey is a mompreneur with too many principles and too little time. Her fledgling company, Julia's Child, makes organic toddler meals with names like Gentle Lentil and Give Peas a Chance. But before she can realize her dream of seeing them on the shelves of Whole Foods, she will have to make peace between her professional aspirations and her toughest food critics: the two little boys waiting at home. Is it possible to save the world while turning a profit?
Julia's Child is a warmhearted, laugh-out-loud story about motherhood's choices: organic vs. local, paper vs. plastic, staying at home vs. risking it all.
This book came at the perfect time - I have been slogging through a few books lately and I was able to zip through this entertaining read that appeals to my foodie interests and mom sensibilities. Sometimes I can identify exactly why I like a book - and in this case, it reminded me of my little start up biscotti baking business. In my twenties, working at my first job as an accountant (bleck) I became fast friends with the only other fresh out of college gal- hiya L! We shared a love of cooking, taking classes together at Williams Sonoma and baking cookies at Christmas. We received such good feedback on our biscotti we went into business - making them in a small rented community center kitchen and selling them to a few coffee shops. This was before Starbucks left Seattle and coffee was all the rage - oh if we'd only known! We entered into this venture completely blind, sans business plan - totally flying by the seat of our pants. It was fun, and exhausting - we had a good chuckle about baking while aerobics class was going on in the adjoining gymnasium, those ladies must have wanted to throttle us. I also recall waking up my sister right after she had a baby to see if she would make a delivery to my building as I had been up all night cooking and called in sick. Sorry, C - you were very kind not to smack me. It didn't last long - we came to the point where we needed help but didn't know how to expand properly and didn't seek out any guidance. I think we were too tired to think more than a week in advance. But I remember those months fondly and this book brought me right back. And I wonder if I had been 30 something with kids during this time, if my life wouldn't have looked EXACTLY like Julia's.
Julia is principled and frazzled, cobbling together bits & pieces of a business plan as she goes. Having sunk her family's savings into making organic baby food, she is quickly approaching the time when she either needs to hit it big or pack it in. If I hadn't known better (see above) I would have thought she was a real mess and wondered how she had even come this far. But a supportive husband, and savvy business partner, along with some luck start to open doors and then it gets crazier. I agree with Kirkus Reviews that this is an I Don't Know How She Does It for foodies (good thing I saw that blurb before I hit publish, apparently what began as an original thought turns out isn't). Clearly it's success hinges on whether Julia is likeable and real - I thought so. It is amusing, timely, and entertaining - a perfect antedote to being stuck in the reading weeds. Or like skipping over a heavy dinner and going straight for the dessert.
Okay - want to win a copy of Julia's Child? The kind folks at Plume have provided one to give. Just leave me a comment and tell me about your entreprenuerial dream job (it can be totally made up - like I wish someone would pay me to read all day :))
I'll choose the winners Friday noonish est.