We had the good fortune of connecting with Barbara Lamperti and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Barbara, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
A good idea that also fulfills a common need can transform into a blooming business with the help of passion, patience and a bit of luck. That’s how BuonaPappa was born. Ten years ago my Luca was around 6 months of age and, as a first time mom, I had to learn everything about baby food, introducing solids, baby meals schedule and baby nutrition. It was a totally new world for me. I spent that summer in Italy, my home-country, receiving a lot of advice and guidance from pediatrician friends, family and other moms. It was like an intensive full immersion course. I came back to LA confident and ready to start. Chatting with my mom’s friends here I noticed that there was a strong interest for this kind of information and advice. It was also not easy to find information online. YouTube was a blooming platform and I already had a camera at home that I could learn how to use.
BuonaPappa started as a YouTube channel where I shared my baby food recipes and healthy family cooking. I was filming, cooking, editing during baby naps or in the evening or during the weekend when my husband was home. The flexibility of this job always appealed me. I was able to work from home around my family’s schedule. The learning curve was huge and even today there is always something new to learn. The website followed the YT channel and later on social media, FaceBook, Instagram, Pinterest. The first few years were invested in learning, improving and structuring BuonaPappa into a reliable source for healthy and easy baby, toddler and family recipes. With time numbers slowly increased and then the first paid post came, the first advertising revenues and later on the cookbooks. Only few weeks ago we celebrated 100K YouTube subscribers that for a channel focused only on baby and toddler food, it’s a huge milestone.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think that BuonaPappa uniqueness is in the combination of video + recipes dedicated to babies and toddlers. It’s a very specific niche. The baby/toddler food blogger world is not big. There are amazing talented recipe developers around the world that I had the pleasure to meet and collaborate with, all focused in creating healthy and appealing meals for little ones. Many of them are great photographers capable of creating mouth watering images, but I can count on my hand the ones that are also video makers. Producing a video takes time, a totally different set up and equipment, on top of editing skills. Of course you can outsource the job, but it is costly and not sustainable in the long term. BuonaPappa offers free to watch, appealing recipe videos. When I create a new recipe I want it to be: tasty, easy to prepare, healthy and nutritionally balanced, affordable, presented in a high quality, beautiful to watch, entertaining video. A lot of elements to put together. It takes time and you learn by mistakes. I love my job, it’s my passion. Testing new recipes is exciting, finding new camera angles or editing transitions that add more engagement to the video is simply fascinating. The creative part of my job is what I love the most. The biggest challenge I had? Keeping a distance from the numbers. Followers, likes, thumbs up definitely tell you if you are going in the right direction, but they should not tell you where to go. Being authentic, passionate about what you do will pay off in the long term.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
California is one of the most popular holiday destinations and I had many Italian friends coming to visit during the summer. I know it sounds weird but the first thing I say is “Forget your LonelyPlanet” I truly think that Los Angeles has so many hidden gems to show, way better than the popular well known attractions. I like my friends to experience the real city, the one I fell in love with. We would definitely start jumping on the electric train that takes you to the New Getty. We would not visit the exhibits of the museum, but stroll around the exterior, enjoying the unique view of the city from the top, listening to the sound of the 405 and admiring the peaceful botanical garden with the water installation that starts from a drop of water and ends in a lake.
Lunch will be in Little Osaka, so many sushi, udon, noodle, koran bbq options there and a must stop at Beard Papa’s for dessert. Their cream puffs are to die for!
Afternoon stroll on Abbot Kinney with sunset walk on the beach.
Downtown itself deserves one full day. Start from the Walt Disney Hall, their architectural tour is fascinating. Keep going versus the Dorothy Chandler pavilion and walk down to City Hall through the park. If you visit during weekdays you can take the city hall elevator and enjoy the view from the top, one of the hidden gems of LA. From there you can walk south to Grand Central Market for lunch. I always suggest to enter the Biltmore Hotel nearby to admire the art deco glamorous vibe of the old LA and then relax your feet at The Last Bookstore, one of the best bookstore I ever visited, simply magical.
You cannot leave the city without a day at the beach. Our favorite one is a bit north of Malibu, Sycamore Cove. It’s a little gem, secluded, beautiful water, Maritime pines on the beach and wooden tables for you to enjoy your picnic or bbq. Dolphins and seals peak out of the water here and there. On the way back stop at Neptune’s Net shack on the PCH, their seafood baskets are incredible. On the way back do not rush, the PCH ocean view is simply stunning.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Albert, my husband, totally deserves this shoutout, 100%. He didn’t think I was crazy starting a Baby Food Video channel, he thought me how to use a camera, helped me solving tech issues, cheered when I got the first 100 subscribers, babysat the kids when needed, motivated me to keep going when results were not coming. He always gives me constructive feedback and pushes me to improve and do better. He is my #1 subscriber, always the first to click like when I post a new video.
Other: Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/buonapappa
Portrait Photos by @justinsafaei