Moms don’t get the recognition they deserve! As a business run BY local moms FOR local moms, Boston Moms is excited to showcase the hard work local moms are doing — both at home and in their professions.
Boston Moms is proud to feature Loren Weed for this Meet-a-Boston-Mom Monday! Loren is a work-from-home mom and the owner of The Grind Factory in Salem, MA.
We asked Loren to share a bit about herself. Get to know her here!
Full name: Loren Weed
Business name: The Grind Factory LLC
Children: Ella (10) and Wesley (8)
Hometown: Peabody, MA
Favorite local restaurant: I have to name two! Petrillos Italian Restaurant in Peabody is my favorite. If you are in the area during lunchtime go check out their takeout — you will not be sorry. I also love a coffee shop right near my house called Just in Time Cafe in Peabody — their lattes are the best!
Favorite local business or brand: Right now I am really loving Mills 58 in Peabody. It’s a huge old warehouse turned into a marketplace that has an eatery and lots of great shops, including antique shops and a furniture refinishing shop that I love! I also frequent Salon Bling in Danvers — the owner, Nicole, goes above and beyond for her clients.
Tell us a little bit about your business: The Grind Factory is an indoor baseball/softball facility. We offer private lessons and trainings, and we have a baseball travel team based out of our facility called the North Shore Freedom, 10u-17u teams. We also have a softball program that rents our facility called the RES Angels.
What is the feeling of community like at The Grind Factory? Community is so important, and we truly are like a family. I hear parents talk about the “Freedom Family” because we care deeply about these players and feel so lucky that we have very supportive parents. At the beginning of the season, a lot of these families don’t know each other. In contrast, by the end of the season, their families have become friends and made plenty of fun memories along the way. Lots of fun kid-friendly tailgating and pool parties happen, that’s for sure! Something else that is important to us is getting involved with local softball and baseball little leagues. We started two this year and look forward to working with them in the future!
What part of your work is the most fulfilling? The most fulfilling part is seeing these players succeed and have fun. If they want to play in college, we are going to do whatever we can to make that happen. When a player signs with a college to play ball after all their hard work, it’s the absolute best feeling!
What drove you to work with your significant other, and how do you work through challenges? My husband has worked for many travel programs, and I’ve always thought these facilities and travel programs could use a woman’s touch. When we opened our own, we decided he would run the baseball operations, and I would do all the administrative work. The “little things,” like picking up the hundreds of water bottles, clothes, bats, and gloves that are left behind, plus stocking and cleaning the bathrooms, waiting rooms, and offices are also parts of my day to day.
You advocate for parents from the perspective of being a mom — how does this make your business unique? I try to put on my “parent hat” and think about what I would want if my child were to play for this program. A safe place to come after school and train is the most essential. Then, communication, good quality training, clean facility, and actual bathrooms are a must. It was also important to me to have a waiting area, a Keurig, Wi-Fi, and TV for the parents while they wait during those long practices.
It was hard to rent fields during COVID, so we had to take what we could get. But I am usually very particular about the fields we use. I really push for an actual bathroom that is clean for the parents and players to use. My husband thinks the woods are just fine for a bathroom, so I try not to leave it up to him!
What’s surprised you the most about motherhood? I was honestly most surprised that being on time would be such a challenge. I cannot believe how many times a day I say, “Where are your shoes?! We’re going to be late!”
What’s one piece of advice you’d offer another working mom? My best trick is for emails: If you get lots of emails a day, try to set a time when you can just sit down and answer emails. I also like the 24-hour rule — answer an email within 24 hours of receiving it.
Who inspires you? The first woman who comes to mind is my mom. I still can’t figure out how she always had home-cooked meals for us growing up, and she somehow still cooks for her kids and their families!
Another woman who inspires me is Kim Miale, an NFL agent. She is a very successful agent in a male-dominated industry, and I respect her a lot. She once said, “As a woman aspiring to enter any male-dominated field, she should not look at a lack of diversity as a deterrent, rather she should see it as a unique opportunity to effectuate change and disrupt the status quo. Dare to dream big.”