Startup Spotlight: Precise Portions

September 11, 2016

Startup Spotlight: Precise Portions

September 11, 2016

This week we talk with Anne-Marie Stephens the CEO and co-founder of Precise Portions, a current MassChallenge Finalist. She tells us why NOW is the time to get the whole family to eat well and that being tenacious is key for any entrepreneur.

GH: What is Precise Portions?

AM: Precise Portions is the only nutrition lifestyle brand that produces portion control dinnerware tools for every occasion – in paper, plastic and porcelain china. We focus on childhood obesity and helping families live healthier lives at home or on the go. We produce dietitian-designed portion control tools for children and adults.

What we see in the world today is that kids don’t really care about nutrition; parents and teachers are ill-equipped to fill the knowledge gap and all our eating challenges are accentuated when we are away from home.

Our products are visual aids with dietary guidelines seamlessly integrated into the design of the dishes. All of our kits include an Eat & Learn System Disc as the Placemat, so we get nutrition learning every day. We make it easy to eat well.

 

GH: What was your Eureka moment: how did Precise Portions get started?

AM: My husband and I are trained Chemical Engineers and have worked for companies such as P&G, Avon Products, Frito-Lay etc. We are trained product development engineers and are skilled at creating superior consumer centered products.

Many of our family members have type 2 diabetes and over the years we have counselled and coached them in the area of nutrition and best practices. It became clear that as a country nutrition is a key stumbling block for many of us. This was our eureka moment. How do we make nutrition easy, effective and elegant enough that we would want to use our tools every day? These are the operating tenets for the Precise Portions brand. Everything we do must be easy, effective and elegant.

GH: How did you build your team?

AM: We have 2 full-time members and a group of talented part-timers that are so vital to the success of our brand and our growth to date. We focus on people who are smart, nimble and can quickly “learn & live” our brand.

 

GH: What is your company philosophy driving your company culture?

AM: We are focused on creating a lifestyle brand that is all about nutrition education; with an aspiration of helping create an obese free society. Being clear about who we are and who we are not is critical to our culture; as it is so easy to slip into other larger dinnerware categories. That means that in terms of culture, we have to be aspirational, deliberate, focused, honest…  But most of all we have to be visionaries. This helps us keep the tenacity we need to be successful as we hit every rock in the road. Without clear long term goals we will fail, as the potholes are so big and large.

GH: What has the Boston ecosystem provided you in terms of resources?

AM: We are one of the MassChallenge 2016 Finalists – super awesome support, mentoring and access to decision makers in a broad spectrum of organization. We have been able to pilot new ideas with Boston Public Health Commission. The opportunity to meet and network with subject matter expertise is in many areas critical to the success of startups e.g., business consulting, marketing, legal, funding etc.

GH: What is the Boston ecosystem lacking from your perspective?

AM: So much better than what we have in Richmond VA that there is nothing lacking from my perspective!

GH: What’s the best/worst piece of advice you were given along the way?

AM: That we were a tableware company. We are definitely not! We are a Nutrition Lifestyle company focused on healthy families.

GH: What was the best thing that happened to you last year?

AM: We launched our Show ‘N Tell Nutrition Learning System for Kids. The lidded cup has been a huge hit with pediatric dietitians as they are so worried and concerned about the impact of beverage consumption on the health of our children.

 

GH: What does the future hold for Precise Portions?

AM: Expanding our brand to provide more nutrition education programs for children and adults to help in the journey of creating sustainable behavior change.

 

Learn More about Precise Portions at www.PrecisePortions.com

Shop for Precise Portions on Amazon

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