Entrepreneur Evan DeMarco and obstetrician, Dr. Victor Chan, received a confidence booster when they presented their prenatal vitamin drink mix to the Northern California OB/GYN Society and sought an endorsement. Fifteen doctors asked to invest in it.
So, the two men walked away with an endorsement and a capital infusion. They’re using the money to spread the word about their product, which they call Mommy Water. DeMarco spoke to me by telephone Monday from the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas. In just two days, he had received 25 purchase orders from retailers not only in the United States but also from Taiwan, Colombia and Singapore. The show ends Thursday.
Ask DeMarco and Chan when they came up with the idea for a prenatal vitamin drink mix, and you will come up with two very different answers. DeMarco conceived the idea in October 2012 when his wife, KCRA-TV news anchor Kellie DeMarco, was pregnant with their first child.
“Everything was making her sick,” DeMarco said. “One night, she’s got this horse pill in one hand and a glass of water in the other, and she looks at me and says, ‘Can you find a way to combine these two?’ I said, ‘I don’t know. Maybe I can.’”
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Other husbands might have laughed it off, but Evan DeMarco had experience developing electrolyte sports drinks as the owner of Vitalyte Sports Nutrition, which he sold about a year ago. When it came time for the first visit with his wife’s obstetrician, he floated the idea. Chan was the physician, and he responded: “I’ve had this idea for 20, 25 years. I just haven’t known how to do anything about it.”
Chan and DeMarco say Mommy Water contains the usual vitamins, plus choline to help combat the forgetfulness that many women report during pregnancy and pyridoxine to alleviate nausea. They initially planned to sell bottles of Mommy Water, but in focus groups, pregnant women said: “Wait, you want me to go to the grocery store when I’m 7 months pregnant and pick up 30 of these things.”
They scrapped the bottles and went with a powder that comes in packets like Crystal Light. It’s currently available in berry and lemon flavors at www.mommy-water.com and Parkside Pharmacy.