Food & Drink

Olympic bobsledder on a Wild Tea Kombucha ride

Emily Baadsvik is a Maritimer who now calls Calgary home. Over the course of the last seven years, she has taken her background competing at an elite sport level, and transposed it into the work ethic of running Wild Tea Kombucha. Along with her business partner Brigette Freel, the two are constantly pushing themselves, as well as the boundaries of Kombucha. With Emily successfully represented Canada in Women’s Bobsleigh at the 2014 Winter Olympics, and Brigette’s adventurous motorcycle & sailor lifestyle, the two are passionate about health and wellness. Brigette has her Masters in Environmental Science, while Emily just completed her Executive MBA this past May. From being part of District Ventures, the TAP program, as well as the abundance of mentors, they’ve become friends with, they are proud of the journey of Wild Tea Kombucha, and look forward to its future and showing people how they can Stay Wild!


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Découvrir les microorganismes avec la fermentation

Jean-Luc Henry est un éducateur et entrepreneur spécialisé dans les solutions écologiques. Depuis près de 20 ans, Jean-Luc s’intéresse particulièrement aux domaines de l’autonomie locale, de la production et de la consommation alimentaire durable (permaculture, agriculture à petite échelle et fermentations). Il a créé et cofondé des projets et des entreprises comme Ekopédia, le Mouvement des Artisans du Changement, Mycelium, et dirige aujourd’hui l’entreprise Révolution Fermentation.


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Generate multiple streams of income

Krysta Francoeur has worked as a designer and brand-builder for 14 years. In 2014 she moved to Malaysia to work for the famous transformational education company Mindvalley, and has since supported some of the biggest names in personal development such as T. Harv Eker, Deepak Chopra, The Shift Network, the authors of Stealing Fire, and more – all well building her own health food company, Wild Remedies.

Known for her ability to create beauty in everything she sees, the founder of Wild Remedies, Krysta Francoeur, is a Modern Magick Maven who has used the physical and emotional she has experienced, to facilitate healing, awareness, and balance with herbs and nutraceuticals to the marketplace in a unique way.

Seeing an opportunity in the market for better-for-you functional beverages, Krysta was inspired to use her years of creative expertise to create a product line that uses the medicine of botanicals (natural healing), the beauty of art and design (packaging), and the creativity of cooking (flavour), to create a product line that’s forging a new path in the wellness space by merging supplement with beverage.

By utilizing therapeutic-grade botanicals, super-shrooms, and nutraceuticals, as well as planting a tree for every product purchased, Krysta hopes to encourage everyone to consider the use of healing plants to correct imbalances, reconnect with nature, reignite the beauty within themselves, and help to heal our home on planet earth.


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Edmonton’s source for things to do, eat and know each week

Linda Hoang is one of Alberta’s leading social media strategists and bloggers. As a strategist, she’s delivered social media training to hundreds of participants across a range of industries and has helped public, private, and non-profits big and small develop strategies and content plans to help achieve the organization’s goals and objectives. As a blogger, Linda regularly partners with tourism boards and businesses to create engaging written and visual content. Linda is the co-founder of Stop Race-Based Hate, an anti-racist education tool, and she is also the founder of the Edmonton International Cat Festival, the only event of its kind in Alberta.


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How to start a business with almost NOTHING

If you had told Mellisa Mills a decade ago she’d be at the helm of a growing plant-based cheese empire, she’d have laughed in your face. After all, she’d been fired from just about every job she ever held for insubordination. But it turns out, she just needed to do things her own way.

She started cooking for herself at a young age. Later, in between the many jobs that never seemed to stick, her DIY spirit and curiosity about nutrition and plant medicine combined with her love of quality ingredients to create Spread’Em Kitchen.

Mellisa turned a blender, a bicycle, and $500 into a thriving farmers market stand in Vancouver. A few years later, Spread’Em Kitchen moved into its own industrial facility, where it gradually grew into a celebrated manufacturer of plant-based dips, spreads and cheeses.

Mellisa makes sure all ingredients are ethically sourced and background checked. Her employees earn a living wage. Spread’Em is striving to become a zero-waste facility. The company also donates to several children’s programs, including breakfast clubs at local schools.

The business has since exploded across Canada, growing from $500 in sales to almost $4 million. Mellisa remains on a mission to disrupt the packaged food space. She believes that food should be nourishing, that it should be made with integrity, that it should make you feel good, and that it should be shared.


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D’éducatrice spécialisée à entrepreneure éco-responsable

Marie-Pier Béland travaille depuis 14 ans en milieu scolaire avec des jeunes du primaire. Ayant œuvré longtemps auprès d’élèves du régulier, elle travaille depuis 5 ans auprès de jeunes ayant un trouble du spectre de l’autisme.

Marie-Pier a une bonne capacité d’adaptation aux changements ainsi qu’une approche humaine et empathique. Elle est capable de créer un lien de confiance et d’écoute avec les enfants et leurs parents. Ceci constitue une grande force chez elle. Son côté créatif, sa pro activité et sa vision globale sont de bonnes aptitudes pour l’entreprise. Marie-Pier est maman de 3 jeunes enfants. Par souci de bien alimenter sa famille, elle a développé une curiosité à s’informer sur l’alimentation saine, sur le zéro déchet et sur la création de produits ménagers utilisés au quotidien. Elle souhaite donc trouver des façons de faire pour réduire son impact négatif sur la planète afin de transmettre ces valeurs à ses enfants. De là est venu l’idée d’ouvrir une épicerie écologique en vrac pour faciliter l’accessibilité à d’autres familles de faire le pas vers une consommation consciente ainsi que de réduire les déchets, le suremballage et le gaspillage


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The challenges of opening a tea shop in the busy tourist town of Banff

Jolene Brewster’s ties to the Rockies really start at her family’s roots in the area. They are among the pioneers of Banff’s hospitality industry hosting tours and hikes throughout the Rockies since the early 1900’s. The lifelong Banff resident seeks the harmony of nature, activity, & community on a daily basis. With an degree in Land Resource Management, the equestrian and former Stampede Queen (current ambassador for the Calgary Stampede) founded Natur’el Tea in 2005 which rebranded Jolene’s Tea House upon opening a retail spot on Bear Street this year. Jolene’s entrepreneurial spirit is dedicated to a deep rooted passion for people, health, and happiness.

Jess McNally was born and raised in Alberta, and grew up ski racing at Lake Louise. She is passionate about the environment and ecology, and received her undergraduate and master’s degrees in Earth Systems from Stanford University. After university she worked as a science journalist and a vegetable farmer before deciding to become a Buddhist monastic. She spent three years living at Zen Mountain Monastery in New York. She travelled to Asia where she was ordained in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. She lived in the Indian Himalayas for two years, with most of that time spent in solitary meditation retreat. Afterwards, she spent a year in Madison, Wisconsin, where she was a fellow at The Center for Healthy Minds, which is a global leader in studying mind, happiness and well-being.

About four years ago Jess decided to take off her monastic robes and move back to Canada. Her family had moved to Banff and she’d always loved these mountains, so it was an easy decision to live here.

Jess has always loved tea, and was delighted when Jolene approached her in 2020 to become a partner in the business.


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Creating Sustainable Meal Kits Using Reusable Cooler Bags

With a lifelong interest in building things and solving problems, Dhruv Sood tried a lot of different work after completing his studies in Finance and Logistics at the University of British Columbia. He worked a variety of jobs, from part-time security guard to equity research associate, but has now found his home as Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Fresh Prep, a meal kit and prepared food delivery service.

Starting off as a small retail location in Vancouver, Fresh Prep now delivers straight to homes across BC and Alberta. Fresh Prep sources local ingredients wherever possible to help busy people create world-class dinners in under 30 minutes.

Since its inception in 2015, Fresh Prep’s goal has been to become the most sustainable meal kit in Canada. To accomplish this, all Fresh Prep orders come to your door in reusable cooler bags. Meals are packed in compostable paper bags or in reusable Zero Waste Kits (an industry first), and kept cool with reusable and recyclable ice packs. Anysoft plastics are returned by customers in the reusable cooler bags for responsible recycling through a partnership with Urban Impact Recycling. Fresh Prep is also the only meal kit company in Canada to be a Certified B Corporation, prioritizing people and planet over profits.

Dhruv is a recipient of BC Business’ 2018 30 Under 30 awards. When Dhruv isn’t working on Fresh Prep, he enjoys playing tennis and making up diets for himself that don’t make it past day one.


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Farm-to-table and the growing passion for gathering around the table

Chanelle Belliveau’s Farm-to-Table NB was a beautiful project built out of her work experience and a growing passion for gathering around the table.

With a background in holistic nutrition and culinary nutrition, Chanelle was deeply passionate about making the connection between where our food comes from, and how it got to our plate. This lead her to work on an organic farm, to make that connection, learn, and finalize the cycle of farm-to-table.

Chanelle has been teaching cooking classes locally in Moncton and Cap-Pele, NB, since 2016.

Cooking classes themes and recipes varies from month to month, all with the purpose of highlighting local ingredients, farmers and producers.

Her team’s farm-to-table outdoor dining experiences only started last year, but with a bang! They hosted our first dinner in beautiful Cocagne, NB, with a small intimate group of 25 people. The goal with the outdoor dining experiences is really to show guests directly where their food comes from, and then experience the ultimate farm-to-table meal, enjoying the ingredients collected from the farm during dinner.

Farm-to-Table NB is focused on serving New-Brunswickers – currently in the Greater Moncton area and surroundings – but looking to expand to various locations all across New Brunswick in the new year!


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Adapt your business for each province‘s culture

Ritou Maloni is the Co-Founder, President and COO of Pür & Simple, a proudly Canadian-owned breakfast and lunch franchise. Originally founded in Quebec in 2016, Pür & Simple has become one of Canada’s fastest growing breakfast chains with more than 20 locations from the Maritimes to British Columbia. Ritou is driven by a passion for hospitality that has allowed her and her team to successfully reinvent breakfast, bringing affordable luxury to diners from coast to coast.

Growing up in a very entrepreneurial family herself, Ritou has always been eager to run her own business. A dynamic leader, Ritou’s charismatic nature and genuine interest in the success of everyone around her have allowed her to excel in business development and in providing an intuitive support system for her franchise partners.

Ritou has maintained hands-on involvement in opening every Pür & Simple location over the years. She has trained both franchise partners and front/back of house staff firsthand, while finding balance as a parent to also be hands-on in her family life. For Ritou, finding balance and setting an example as a strong female entrepreneur has been about understanding the ebbs and flows of both her personal and professional life. Equally important to her success has been having a support system in place that has allowed her to prioritize each aspect based on where her focus was most needed at any given point in time. Ritou credits her business partner, her family and the Pür & Simple team with the success of the business and encourages her franchise partners to find their own definition of success.

Ritou holds a BAC in marketing from Concordia University and has more than a decade of entrepreneurial experience from a variety of business ventures. She currently resides in Montreal, QC.


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