Meet ‘Garden Fresh Baby,’ Launching Friday in Mrs. Green’s New Canaan


Though Marna Altman for eight years had been caring for kids professionally as a preschool teacher, she’d never cooked for others until she had her own children. Originally from Scarsdale, NY, Altman moved up to Westport for her husband’s job a few years ago and—while staying home to raise their two young kids—developed a passion for keeping the children’s diets chemical-free. The baby food Altman found in most markets weren’t living up to her own standards, so she started shopping farmers markets and making it herself. “And from that experience we had a lot of friends and family who were really interested with us supplying them with baby food and making it for them, and then it kind of just became a business from there,” recalled Altman, 32, CEO of Garden Baby Fresh LLC. In just one year, the company has grown its locally sourced, all-organic baby food and toddler meals business—with repeat customers and even out-of-state mail orders—to the point where Altman can start to envision a national presence.

New Canaan Woman Launches ‘FreshDine,’ Locally Cooked Meals with Home Delivery


New Canaan resident Maureen Shankar, 38, came to a turning point in her life and career in finance two years ago when—between jobs and on break from a daily commute into New York City—it became clear that she wasn’t the only one in her family who’d been suffering from her long hours away from home. “I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do next, and at that time I realized how hard it had been on my son, too,” Shankar recalled. She turned to a persistent if not fully explored interest at that time, in food and cooking—an interest that last November culminated in the creation of FreshDine. The New Canaan-based company creates and delivers modestly priced, fresh (no preservatives, artificial sweeteners, food coloring, MSG or trans fats) meals to the doorsteps of customers who order online from a wide-ranging menu. “One of my customers really said it well—because this is one of the things I’m looking to do—she said, ‘I feel like I have a grandmother again,’ ” Shankar recalled.