Small Business Spotlight: Joey’s Family Food | June 2023Friday, June 2nd, 2023
We’re thrilled to shine our Small Business Spotlight on Joey’s Family Food this month!
Joey’s produce nutritional, tasty meals and snacks for babies and children – cutting out the nutrient-killing industrialised processes that you can find in supermarket foods. They support local parents and the wider community by pricing their products reasonably, helping local charities and offering advice about weaning and early development.
The family-run business is situated in Antelope Walk, Dorchester, and is headed up by husband and wife team Libby and Owen.
We were lucky enough to visit Joey’s to have a good look around and chat with the team to find out exactly what they do.
So, for anyone who hasn’t visited, could you quickly sum up what Joey’s Family Food is?
We make handmade meals, everything’s chopped up in small pieces, we use whole ingredients with no nonsense and we focus on nutrition and convenience.
When, how and why did the business start?
It was a dream about eight years ago when we had Tilly. I just found that there was a real lack of confidence amongst fellow parents when it came to weaning, and I was really disappointed with what was on offer in stores to support parents. Being a food lover and enjoying cooking, I was really excited about weaning and so began trials making foods for other friends with children. It sort of grew from there and then two years ago we had the opportunity to provide to a nursery. From then it’s just grown and grown and now we have our own kitchen in Antelope Walk!
Amazing, so what made you choose Antelope Walk in Dorchester as a place to open?
It’s our hometown, our family is here and we’re very community led. We want to support local parents and families, but we also deliver nationwide as well!
What ages of children is Joey’s suitable for and how do your products cater to children’s development through the ages?
We provide weaning products like purée pops which are all frozen, then we have baby-led products like pancakes and muffins, which can encourage the hand to mouth feeding. We then go onto mini meals, which we call mini bites and monster meals as well. Everything is chopped up in small pieces, so we try and remove as many choking hazards as possible. So, up to school age! But – we’re not exclusive. We have customers as old as 96!
So, what are the benefits of buying food at Joey’s rather than other supermarkets?
All of our meals are handmade using traditional cooking processes. What we focus on is the quality of ingredients and there’s no industrialised processes here or preservatives taking away the nutrition of the benefits that we put into it.
How can parents try out Joey’s Family Food?
If you’re local then pop in and see us – we can talk about what your child likes and doesn’t like and find the best meals to try out for you. We also deliver, so if you’re not able to come into the shop then send us a message and we’ll get something to you!
Joey’s is clearly a brilliant way to get vegetables into children and especially ones that are fussy. So, could you mention a couple of products that are ideal for fussy children, to help to introduce them to new flavours?
The key thing about fussy eating – we use a process called ‘chain eating’, where you take an ingredient that you know they like and you build on it with something new each time and it sort of grows their repertoire. Pasta is an obvious example – most kids love a bit of pasta. So, we have a Tilly Courgetti, which is pasta based. We have an Orzo and Pea. Orzo is like a small rice grain-sized bit of pasta. What we try and do with a lot of our meals is use our signature Joey’s Loaded Tomato Sauce – which essentially is a tomato sauce with seven vegetables in it. So we sort of blend it up and you wouldn’t know the difference. We hide that in as many of our meals as possible!
So, one more question: what does the future hold for Joey’s?
Well, we want to focus on the early years and really build happy, positive relationships with children and food – because if we can get that right then we can protect them for later life. So, anything that will make eating food fun is what we’re looking at. We run cookery classes and we’ve got lots of ideas!
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Brilliant children’s food in Dorchester
Joey’s Family Food is the perfect example of a brilliant independent, family-run business and what is so special about our town centre. Spending a couple hours at Joey’s with Libby and Owen showed me just how much they genuinely care about children’s health and providing good food for the community (although this passion is clear right as you enter the store).
As someone who has young children, I valued the breadth of information that the team gave me, and recommendations for expanding my own children’s palettes. I was sure to pick up a range of nutritious meals from them for my own children and was pleasantly surprised with the prices. You’d be wrong in assuming that Joey’s can’t compete with the supermarkets on price, and it’s very clear that their homemade food is made with bundles of love and nutrients.
Update: Joey’s food went down a storm with my kids – especially the 7-veg pizza and quinoa chilli con carne!
Why you should visit Joey’s Family Food
If you have children or are close to someone who does, visiting Joey’s is a no brainer. Their meals contain LOADS of vegetables and nutrients which make getting goodness into fussy children easier, and their food is very reasonably priced too. Whether you’re planning to start weaning your baby or looking for convenient meals for your toddler, Joey’s does it all.
Just pop into their shop and they’ll be happy to give you some advice and recommendations based on what your children already like. They also deliver nationwide, too! Libby and Owen are extremely knowledgable about children’s gut health, so we highly recommend popping in for a chat!
SHOP You can find Joey’s Family Food at 17 Antelope Walk, Dorchester, DT1 1BE
VISIT They are open Tuesday – Saturday at 10am – 4pm
WEBSITE Joey’s deliver nationwide! Visit their website for products and more information
SOCIALS Follow Joey’s on Instagram!
Have an independent business in mind that you think deserves the spotlight in the future, or are you a small business in Dorchester? Send your recommendations to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com!