Q + A with Co-Founder of The Latte Co., Fortified Plant-Based Beverages for Children

Delphine Marinaro, Co-Founder of The Latte Co., created the brand after wanting a healthier dairy-free milk option for her daughters and other children. Meet the world’s first fortified organic plant-based beverage based in Canada, and soon to hit U.S. stores this summer.

Delphine, along with her husband and two other couples, set out to create a healthier drink option for their children after realizing most dairy-free beverages contained ingredients such as soy, nuts, and fillers like gums.

Delphine, a practicing lawyer for over ten years, turned to naturopathy when her daughters were born, trying to feed them the healthiest foods possible. Shortly after, she gained a clientele base of moms who were inspired by her wanting the same for their kids. Bebe Latte was born in her kitchen using organic superfoods that were safe and tasty for children!

 the latte co.
Delphine is pictured on the bottom right, along with the other co-founders of The Latte Co.

Tell me about yourself and what inspired you to create The Latte Co.

My training is law, I am a corporate lawyer; I’ve practiced law for more than ten years! I also studied naturopathy by passion and personal interest because I wanted to know how to heal my daughters naturally and feel more in control of their health and nutrition. I was lucky enough to breastfeed my daughters, so I didn’t have problems. When they started eating solid foods, I introduced smoothies to their diet. I needed to create a plant-based milk because they were asking for milk at daycare, and I didn’t want to give them dairy. So, I made homemade recipes with hemp seed, coconut oil, flaxseed, and bananas. More and more, I was giving out the recipe to my clients I was consulting whose babies were having strong reactions to dairy, soy, and corn specifically. It was more common with babies and I thought to myself, moms don’t always have the breastfeeding option. They were making the recipes at home but found it too time-consuming to prepare because moms are always in a rush! I thought we have to find an easier way; let’s create the beverage in a powder form!

What were the first steps in creating Bebe Latte and Kiddo Latte?

When you look at the ingredients in current children beverages, it’s mostly corn-based, sugar, and ingredient’s that you can’t even understand when you read them because they’re not even food. For me, it was not normal to have this kind of start for babies. We contacted a lab, and it took almost two years to launch the first version of Bebe latte. It was long but good we took the time. We worked with Health Canada because I wanted to make sure it was correct with all the regulations. After all, it is addressed for babies and young kids!

We started selling last august 2019. In Canada, we have many stores, many health foods stores, organic stores as well as online. Slowly we are growing in all provinces in Canada and wanting to expand in the U.S. We also sell directly online and have customers all around the world in Europe and Asia.

I noticed that your beverage is not a formula.

It’s a nutritional drink, and It’s not a newborn formula. It’s very similar to a formula; if you read nutritional facts and compare them to the formula’s nutritional facts, it is very similar.

Consulting a nutritionist, and consulting a naturopath is essential. It’s milk, you mix it with water, and it’s good as it is! You don’t have to mix it with another vegan milk and for younger babies, you just mix it with water.

What’s the l blend?

The l blend is a mix of fruits and vegetables that we use in our drinks—a blend of superfoods that gives lots of nutrition! The l blend gives vitamin c, d, b, magnesium, and zinc which comes from the plants and veggies. It is patent-pending because it’s the first time in Canada that red algae are in use in a beverage for children. Red algae are super rich in calcium and magnesium. Usually, you find them in supplements, but we added them in our blend, which is why we are richer in calcium than cow’s milk! They use it more in Europe for babies, but in the U.S and Canada, many kids are allergic to dairy, and moms are concerned about their calcium intake. That’s why we added them in our Bebe latte and Kiddo Latte. It is equally rich in magnesium which works well together.

Can adults drink this because I’ve heard of mamas being obsessed!

 Yes! A lot of adults use the kiddo latte for pre-workout because of the protein, but we are working on a mama version. We want to launch it for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers because we need the energy! We are finalizing the details and most likely, this summer 2021 we would like to launch it with the recent rebranding, around May and June.

The Latte Co., World’s first Fortified plant-based beverage for kids, offers Bebe latte for 12 months- 2 yrs. And Kiddo latte for 2-8 years old. You can currently purchase The Latte Co. in Canadian health food stores, and on their website at TheLatteco.com

The company is currently rebranding and should expect to reach shelves in Whole Foods U.S. this summer of 21.’

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