One of two founder stories from LaunchTN’s recent partner trip to Johnson City, Tennessee. Special thanks to our friends at Sync.Space for connecting our team with these local companies.
Good Batch Mama, based in Kingsport, is a family-owned and operated company that is passionate about helping others get back around the table for quality time over great food. The group designed their food and packaging with the fast pace of life in mind, helping customers get food from the freezer to the table in less time with no mess or headache. Good Batch Mama’s goal is for families to spend time together over a no-hassle meal made with quality ingredients.
Ashley Currie, Marketing and Communications Director at LaunchTN, and the Sync.Space team met with Catherine Blevins, Chief “What” Officer, and Adam Rosenbalm, Chief “How” Officer, to learn about their family’s passion project.
How did Good Batch Mama get its start?
Catherine: As schedules got busier and the world sped up, Elizabeth Rosenbalm, our mom and Chief “Why Officer” at Good Batch Mama, noticed that family dinner was the first thing to go. So, Elizabeth made a change to protect this sacred time. Once a month, she began prepping meals with a few friends and freezing them, forming her first “cooking club”. Elizabeth eventually started selling those meals out of her freezer to people who would reach out asking if she had anything extra.
That started in the early 2000s when we were kids and before meal prepping was a “cool” thing to do. Finally, in 2016, we sent out an email to a list of people with what we were making, and it was very simple – really just emailing a big group of friends who had been purchasing meals over the years at random.
In 2017, my brother, Adam, was in college studying business, and I had just gotten married. We decided, “Hey, let’s do something with this business.” That’s when we started putting together more of a foundation, and the fact that my mom is also an accountant worked really well for us to put this together.
How would you describe your mission?
Catherine: We believe that the moments where people come together with the those they love to make meaningful connections are some of the most beautiful that life has to offer. We all long for these moments, but the constant pull of what “has to get done” can make it hard to defend this space. We exist to make it just a little easier for families, and all those who long to come together, to cut through these demands and spend quality time together, because we believe that it is something you will never regret.
As you officially started doing business, what was your marketing plan like?
Catherine: We initially grew based on word of mouth, and even still, we are growing primarily through word of mouth and using social media alone.
Adam: The other thing we use is email marketing. I don’t really know that I would call our strategy “advertising”, but it’s more like a retention strategy.
Catherine: Since we have so many existing customers, we communicate with those groups regularly over email. We send reminder emails for ordering on Mondays, and we have a newsletter that sends on Fridays. As far as our community, we also participate in a lot of sponsorships since our customer base is primarily families. People ask us about sponsoring various things their kids are involved in, and we get involved in that type of thing because of our great relationships with our customers.
Adam: We also have had great success with a referral program and offering things like a free $25 gift certificate for new parents.
Are there any other areas you’ve researched to find customers?
Adam: Absolutely. We realized that another place for us to tap into is the school setting. We’ve been focusing on doing a lot of lunches for teachers and getting more involved with schools. Most of that interaction is through donation. We have also started running social media giveaways to try and make sure that we’re engaging with people online.
Catherine: Really, our method is meeting people right where they are and at their busiest times. We want to provide a need for people who just need convenience.
Do you also do catering?
Adam: We started catering around 2019, and our sales were roughly 50% catering and 50% frozen meals. Once 2020 rolled around, catering was gone, and frozen meals doubled overnight. We’re seeing an increase in catering again, but the frozen meal aspect is definitely more scalable for now.
Do you see Good Batch Mama expanding outside of the Kingsport area?
Adam: That is the plan, and we have seen, over the course of the past 3-4 years, one hundred percent growth year over year – sometimes more than that. We have found overwhelming support in the community as our cause continues to resonate with people in every stage of life. In the summer of 2020, we were able to move into our first permanent location in Kingsport, where we look forward to serving the Tri-Cities region for years to come. It is our hope that one day, we can grow to reach new families across East Tennessee and beyond, making it just a little bit easier for everyone to gather and savor the precious moments of life together. For us, it’s just a matter of deepening our relationships to continue growing in the way we hope to.
How do you remain focused on the original mission of Good Batch Mama while growing?
Adam: We definitely want to take everything a little slower. We’re not hoping to pop up 30 locations soon, because we want to make sure that we’re protecting what we call “the heart” of Good Batch Mama. We’re family-owned and operated, and, when we grow, we want to replicate that touchpoint in other communities.
Learn more about Good Batch Mama’s mission and meal services at goodbatchmama.com.