Local start-up Quark attracts major retailers with baby products designed for parents by parents


Credit: Quark. Founder and CEO Garett Senez with his family

The company’s flagship product, Quook, is a five-in-one food processor that replaces three gadgets

When you’re a parent, there are never enough of two things: time and counter space. After Garett Senez and his two business partners found this out the hard way, they set out to make baby products that take cost, effectiveness and hygiene into account.

Quark, based in Vancouver, launched a line of six “smart” baby products in April, including a meal set, freezer tray and corner guards. Its flagship offering, Quook, is a five-in-one food processor that replaces three (very large) appliances. The machine has a touchscreen that you can use to steam, mix, and cook baby food, a built-in milk warmer, and a built-in sanitizer that can sterilize things like bottle nipples.

Quark produces QuookQuark. The Quook baby food processor

“TThe pulse of the brand itself, the quark, is the smallest particle in the universe,” says founder and CEO Senez, who has a background in marketing. “Quarks are the building blocks of the universe, and that’s kind of how we see our children.”

The startup journey began last year, when Senez and his wife welcomed a girl into their lives. “When you have kids, you’ll know that you start buying products well in advance, 60 to 90 days in advance, and you have your baby, you start testing those products,” he says. “When we started testing the products, a large majority of the products we were buying were poorly designed, overpriced and lacked real innovation.”

Cost was also an issue, adds Senez. “We bought a $35 bamboo bowl and spoon, and it looks really nice, but it’s super inconvenient when using it. Bamboo cannot be microwaved; it cannot be put in the dishwasher. Stuff like that drives you crazy as a parent because you have all this stuff that you think works and is really, really cool, and then it doesn’t matter.

Product Quark FeediQuark. The Feedi Five-Piece Dining Set

To help simplify the difficult task of raising a child and to ensure quality for other parents, Quark products are spill and stain resistant, leak proof, stackable, versatile and dishwasher/oven/microwave/ pressure cooker/freezer. Priced from $12 to $200, they are also made without BPA, BPS, PVC, lead, and phthalates.

“IIt’s designed to really be what you expect from a baby product, so you don’t have to worry,” says Senez. “That’s why we say, ‘No bad guys’ – if you have a baby, you want to be reassured that this stuff can actually work for your kids.”

READ MORE: Restaurant owner Meeru Dhalwala presents My Bambiri, à la carte baby food

With 17 more products in the pipeline, Quark uses “heart share and home share” as a guiding principle to establish itself as a reliable brand before branching out. This approach seems to be working, given that the young company already has strong partnerships with major retailers like indigo books and music, Loblaw Co., London Drugs and Walmart Canada. Quark products are now available in over 400 retail stores across Canada as well as on Amazon.

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