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Food & Drink

From the Kitchen to the Dragon’s Den: How Evive Became a Top North American Nutrition Brand

What started off as a kitchen-based business and eventually went on to impress business tycoons on Dragon’s Den, is now a top North American nutrition brand spearheaded by two young entrepreneurs promoting health, nutrition, and self-care, with 300% growth year-over-year. Due to his creative thinking, Dominic Dubé and his partner and co-founder, Claudia Poulin, have changed the way healthy eating is perceived by developing frozen meal cubes that are flavourful, packed with all the necessary nutrients required for a wholesome diet, and ready in under five minutes. When you feel better, you perform better. Dubé believes that time and money should not have to be someone’s obstacle to eating healthy, and that is what Evive represents.

Dubé is truly authentic and transparent in his goal for the company, which is to promote healthy eating, reduce the ecological footprint, and empower women through a tightly-knit community of like-minded individuals. Since first launching blender-free smoothies, Dubé keeps building his business and brand, alongside 40 employees, by continuously evolving and adding new products and creating new recipes that can be enjoyed by all. Furthermore, on behalf of Evive, he has kick-started the “Plant a Tree” initiative in the hopes that Evive will obtain a carbon-neutral certification by 2023. With an active and growing online presence, Dominic Dubé and his team inspire others to want to be healthier and live to their fullest potential without having to sacrifice in the process.


Evive nutritious drinks and foods help you to live a healthy lifestyle so you feel amazing and have the time to do what makes you happy! Go to https://evivenutrition.ca to find healthy, vegan foods and recipes and use the code canadapodcast10 for 10$ OFF your first order.

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Christian Genest, le fondateur de Buddha-Station et du groupe SushiTaxi

Pourquoi c’est important de bien cerner et appliquer les valeurs de l’entreprise? Notre host Sylvie Bougie s’entretient sur ce sujet avec le fondateur de Buddha-Station, Monsieur Christian Genest. On y aborde aussi des sujets comme les récents défis d’opérer dans l’industrie alimentaire en temps de pandémie, le succès de Sushitaxi et l’importance d’être authentique! Christian, merci pour ta grande générosité!

Christian Genest, 45 ans, père d’une adolescente, amateur de gin-tonic et maniaque de boxe à en avoir fondé un OBNL. Il a fondé le groupe Sushitaxi en 2000 avec 500$ sur sa carte de crédit et revendu en 2016 alors qu’il comptait 19 restos et plus de 350 employés. Il collabore comme enseignant à l’école d’entrepreneurship de Beauce et à l’institut du leadership de gestion. Sa mission est de changer la façon dont les gens mangent en entreprise avec son nouveau projet Buddha-Station.

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Alexandra Daignault Combines Activism, Tea and Feminism Into One Perfect and Impactful Blend

Alexandra Daignault is a young female entrepreneur, her company combines activism, tea, and feminism into one perfect and impactful blend and she is quite the storyteller!

“It all started with a final project for an Indigenous Studies Course, facilitated by Dr. Renae Watchman. As a class, we were challenged to think about resistance within our everyday experience. One morning, on my way to school, I went to my favourite local coffee shop. Looking down at their array of beverages, I was struck with a thought. Here I was, purchasing products that supported small businesses and Indigenous communities elsewhere in the world. What would the effects be if there was a tea that supported small, local businesses, and provided consumers with the ability to support local marginalized communities? Thus, Sarjesa Inc. was born. As an experienced activist and community organizer focused on social enterprise and community development spaces. I have completed the ASHOKA – AMERICAN EXPRESS boot camp for emerging leaders and have been the recipient of numerous awards – speaking at conferences and facilitating workshops across North America. Graduating as the valedictorian of my class, I am focused on creating more equitable and safe spaces for marginalized women across communities. Working with Elders and community members on blend and packaging, our goal is to create highly respectful products with a variety of social and environmental impacts.”

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Jo-Anne Reynolds, Founder of Sexy AF, Striving to Make the World’s Best Tasting Alcohol-Free Spirits

Jo-Anne Reynolds was on a girls trip when all ladies she was with were not drinking alcohol because they were pregnant, marathon training or for religious beliefs. Their only options were sparkling water with lime juice or a Shirley Temple plus the usual soda pop, coffee or tea.

When Jo-Anne got home she envisioned a world where everyone could enjoy a delicious, refreshing, alcohol-free mocktail anywhere. She also wanted drink recipes that featured items Jo could easily find and make as a mother and not a mixologist. All her friends wanted was a mocktail that was Sexy AF and Jo was committed to making it the World’s Best Tasting Alcohol-Free Spirits company.

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Kirk Zembal, Co-Founder of Blindman Brewing, Creates Craft Beer Using the Best Local Ingredients That Support the Places and People of the Area

Kirk Zembal is co-founder of Blindman Brewing based in Lacombe, Alberta. Blindman Brewing has a small taproom located in Lacombe, with their beer distributed throughout Alberta and beyond The create innovative, quality, flavorful craft beer using the best local ingredients that support the places and people of the area.

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Nathen Mazri is the World’s Youngest Garfield Licensee, Founder of GarfieldEATS and is Launching Entertainment E-Commerce Site Egeez

Toronto-based entrepreneur and the world’s youngest Garfield licensee and founder of GarfieldEATSNathen Mazri along with corporate partner, Pascal Haider are scheduled to launch Egeez, the first tech-driven, entergaging (Entertaining + Engaging) e-commerce site dedicated to connecting fans with global entertainment brands and their collectable merchandise and food globally before Christmas 2020. Ranging from comics, celebrities, cartoons, entertainment merchandise or food are all provided for fans and geolocated targeted based on the city they live in. Egeez in onboarding licensees of major studios and licensors such as Nickelodeon, 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney, Warner Brothers, WWE, Endamol Shine, Smurfs and even Penguin Random House licensed books and many more to come.

Ai technology, the Egeez website and database predicts fans IP statistics per their region to showcase the best products surrounding them to help support licensors’ overstock departments, along with meeting targeted sales and connecting consumers with their favourite products. With industries such as Mobile eCommerce, box office revenues, retail sales and a digital shopping increase of 40 percent, brands and retainers from around the world can look to corner a nice market with Egeez’s as their online provider and connector to fans globally. When Egeez launches before Christmas 2020, fans can log into the marketplace by going to egeez.com or download the app in Google Play or the Apple Store to browse Egeez’s online shops from all their favourite entertainment brands globally. Egeez is a proud member of Licensing International, supporting us to onboard licensees and licensors given their 35 years of network with WWE, Warner Bros, Walt Disney, and many more. Egeez’s has initially created an online platform for entertainment brands to ‘onboard’ their overstock, whether they’re a manufacturer, distributor, retailer, restaurant or entrepreneur, as Egeez’s is providing companies the opportunity to join the marketplace before the official launch. Egeez’s have Happiness Account Managers in every continent today onboarding official licensed products around the clock from North America to India, Europe, Asia and Middle East. As for licensees, Egeez will support their digital sales strategy during this pandemic especially and help them impress their licensor with shining quarterly royalty reports.

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Jessica Schacht is Co-Founder of Ampersand Distilling Company, One of the Top Craft Distilleries in BC

Jessica Schacht is an artist and entrepreneur based on Vancouver Island in the Cowichan Valley. As a co-founder of Ampersand Distilling Company she manages sales and communications and has helped develop the award winning recipes that make Ampersand one of the top craft distilleries in British Columbia. Jessica has found many ways to combine her passion for art & entrepreneurship. In 2017 she started a cocktail column for the Cowichan Valley Voice called “History Glass” exploring the origins of classic cocktails. Jessica is also a public speaker on transferrable skills and entrepreneurship and has spoken at the University of Victoria, Pacific Opera Victoria’s Artist Development Program, and the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance Summit.

Ampersand Distilling Co. is owned and operated by the Schacht family, whose five-acre organic farm and craft distillery is situated in the Cowichan Valley, British Columbia. The company was born out of Jeremy and Jessica Schacht’s love for craft cocktails and sparked to life when Jeremy and his father Stephen – both trained engineers – combined their knowledge of science and traditional distilling techniques to produce hand-crafted spirits with exceptional flavours. Together with Jeremy’s mother Ramona Froehle-Schacht – an avid organic farmer – the family fuse their individual passions into a thriving business whose high-quality organic spirits have become staples in the industry and home bars across North America.

Ampersand’s name pays homage to the grammatical logogram that forges connections across vast concepts. The subtle symbol signifies a powerful collaboration between the Schacht family, each of whom lends their personal passion and skills to the business. Ampersand brings together science and art, representing the craft of distilling spirits; technology and tradition, uniting innovative methods and old-world distilling styles; ingredients and techniques, allowing pure wild-harvested botanicals and B.C.-grown wheat to shine; and family and friends, who can share the simple joy of sipping a well-made spirit.

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Brett Annable, Owner of Millionaires Row Cider Company, Is Helping Keep the Essence of Canada’s Rich Entrepreneurial History Alive!

Armed with the dream of a family farm, finance experience and theological training, Brett Annable and his wife Janet purchased a 10-acre apple orchard in Summerland, British Columbia, discovered a rich history on their land, then launched ‘Millionnaires’ Row Cider Company. Brett & Janet combined their skills and together tapped into their entrepreneurial spirit to become a couple and ‘product’ of note in the Okanagan Valley. Brett and Janet, through their ‘cider’ making, tasting, distribution and storytelling – are helping to keep the essence of the ‘Millionnaire’s Row’ story alive as part of Canada’s rich entrepreneurial history. Three of the ‘Millionnaires’ were national bank presidents – ultimately knighted for their contributions to Canada – responsible for providing much of the initial capital to finance western Canada’s timber, mining, transportation and utility industries; and whose benevolence later extended to helping establish the ‘Okanagan’s notoriety as a ‘fruit’ growing/manufacturing mecca, and a destination of choice to experience local farms, markets, stores, restaurants, wineries, breweries and more.

Visit www.ebay.ca/upandrunning to open your online shop.

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Suzie Yorke, Founder of Love Good Fats, on the Shift from Executive to Entrepreneur

Suzie Yorke is on a mission to bring healthy fats back. A mom, eleven-time Ironman competitor and yoga enthusiast, Suzie spent years adhering to a low-fat diet only to hit a wall in her mid-40s. After reading Nina Teicholz’s best seller, Big Fat Surprise, she immediately shifted to a high-fat, low-carb diet, and felt better right away. While she loved the benefits of her new lifestyle, Suzie found it challenging to find convenient, good-fat snacks. Seeing a gap in the marketplace and a huge opportunity to help others through food, Suzie developed Love Good Fats, a company that produces high-fat, low-carb, and low-sugar products.

Today, Suzie leads Love Good Fats’ expansion as it quickly becomes one of the fastest-growing bar brands in North America. As a 30-year veteran of the CPG industry, Suzie has worked at high-profile companies such as Proctor & Gamble, PepsiCo, Kraft Heinz, Weight Watchers, and Zag. Utilizing her accomplished marketing background, personal journey, and deep devotion and passion for health, Suzie is on a mission to spread the word that fat is back, and sugar is out! Suzie was recognized by her peers and the community with the 2019 Mompreneur :registered: Start Up Award.

Visit www.ebay.ca/upandrunning to open your online shop.

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Mitch Jacobsen, CEO of Rviita Energy Tea, Discusses the Process of Creating and Distributing a Food & Beverage Product in British Columbia

Mitch Jacobsen started his career as a Petroleum engineer, managing the design and construction of the first two produced water ponds in Alberta, which has ultimately helped recycle thousands of cubic meters of water and saved thousands of cubic meters of fresh water usage. Working long hard hours in the oil & gas sector, Mitch and colleagues often used coffee and energy drinks for ‘energy kicks’ and to stay alert. But when Mitch witnessing his best friend have a heart attack from conventional energy drinks, he leveraged his passion for health and fitness and went to work on creating a new product in the market to provide more natural energy boosts.

Formulating the perfect naturally caffeinated, refreshing beverage was the goal, and with the help of a food-scientist Mitch started the process of developing Rviita Energy Tea – a clean pick-me-up drink made with caffeine from tea, organic honey, and vitamins, packed in one of the most carbon efficient packages on the planet. Rviita is now a company centered around inspiring others and helping people become healthier and more productive; works on principles of environmentally sustainable manufacturing & packaging throughout the lifecycle of the product. Since launching to shelves in October 2019, they have scaled to more than 150 stores with brands like Calgary Co-op, Sobeys, and Safeway. Rviita has made more than 200 deliveries of free product to nurses and doctors on the front lines of the COVID-relief effort. Their goal is to expand all across Canada and help as many people as we can.

For practical resources, advice, and offers, visit RBC’s Small Business Navigator hub at www.rbc.com/smallbusinessnavigator

Entrepreneurs are the backbone of Canada’s economy. To support Canada’s businesses, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.