Food & Drink

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.

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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.

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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.

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Philip Bliss Interviews Christina Barbato, CEO and Co-Founder of SP Nutraceuticals Inc.

Christina Barbato is CEO and Co-Founder of SP Nutraceuembedticals Inc. SP was founded in 2016 to commercialize natural health products. SP Nutraceuticals is a research and development company taking naturally derived molecules discovered to help treat or prevent specific diseases from discovery to conception, development, patent protection, regulatory approval and clinical trials. We then look for companies best suited to partner or license our products for sale and distribution. The startup believes that there is a wealth of powerful agents in naturally derived sources, such as plants that can be used to prevent or treat diseases affecting the lives of Canadians. Before SP, Christina practiced law for eleven years, has an Honours Bachelor of Commerce and her LLB.

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Mario Toneguzzi Talks to Jeff Adamson, Co-Founder of NEO Financial and Co-Founder of Skip the Dishes

Mario Toneguzzi sits down with Jeff Adamson is Co-founder of NEO Financial in Calgary and one of the original Founders of Skip The Dishes.

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Molly Sanders Talks About Her Highly Effective, Results-Driven, 100% Online Wellness Programs

As someone who binge ate for years…I know what frustration, resignation, and guilt around food feels like. As someone who overcame binge eating, I know what it’s like on the other side of that. Binge eating may not be your thing, but everyone has something they can’t quite handle about their health and nutrition. Now, I’m on a mission to change the global state of health from sick-care to health-care: where we spend more time tending to our health vs. managing our illness.

Combining her holistic training and years working in content, publishing, and online education, Molly Sanders has created highly effective, results-driven, 100% online wellness programs. She has helped thousands of people look past what they put in their mouths and to get real (pun intended) about what it takes to truly heal and make changes that last.

Molly graduated with honors from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition in 2015. She also holds a dual B.A. in Literature and Modern Languages from Kansas State University. Molly has been featured on the cover of Future Female Magazine, in Thrive Magazine, quoted in Fashion Magazine, and been a guest on That Badass Podcast among others.

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Francois Lambert, ancien Dragon et fondateur du site

Entrepreneur à succès, François Lambert a cofondé le plus important centre d’appels au Canada, Atelka, ainsi qu’une entreprise technologique présente dans 75 pays, Aheeva. Il a investi dans plus d’une dizaine d’entreprises en carrière, dont Boostmi, une application d’assistance routière, nGUVU, une plateforme de mobilisation pour employés, les sous-vêtements UNDZ, Acier Saint-Jérôme et divers projets immobiliers. Il a lancé en décembre 2018 sa propre boutique en ligne,, afin d’y vendre les produits provenant de son érablière et quelques-uns issus de ses autres entreprises. Fort du succès rencontré, il offre depuis une plateforme de visibilité à des entrepreneurs Québécois en vendant leurs produits sur son site.

Connu du grand public lors de sa participation remarquée à l’émission Dans l’œil du dragon à Radio-Canada, François Lambert est l’auteur de deux livres sur l’entrepreneuriat, À prendre ou à laisser (réédité en 2019) et L’entrepreneuriat, c’est difficile. Point. (traduit en anglais en 2019), dans lesquels il transmet sa passion pour les affaires et déconstruit des mythes persistants sur l’entrepreneuriat. Il a aussi écrit Qu’est-ce que j’en pense ? (2018), un livre d’opinion où il offre son avis sans détour sur 30 enjeux québécois d’actualité.

En conférence, il dévoile sans réserve et avec humour ses bons comme ses mauvais coups, révélant du même souffle les hauts et les bas de la vie en affaires. Avec le franc-parler qui a fait sa renommée, il partage son histoire inspirante et transmet aux participants le goût de prendre action aujourd’hui afin de poursuivre leurs rêves, que ce soit dans leur vie professionnelle ou personnelle.

Grand sportif, il a réalisé quatre marathons, fait cinq années d’entraînement en triathlon et participé au CEO Endurance World Championship en 2012. Encore aujourd’hui, il maintient un rythme d’activité physique d’au minimum une à trois heures par jour.

François partage son temps entre Montréal et sa terre de 600 acres en Outaouais où il cultive du maïs, du soja et de l’avoine, en plus de produire du sirop d’érable et du miel. Il y élève également quelques poules, lapins et moutons, notamment.

François Lambert détient un baccalauréat en sciences comptables de l’Université du Québec en Outaouais.

Philippe Vennes, Président et CEO de FLB Solutions Alimentaires

Philippe Vennes, un gradué avec distinction de l’Université Bishop’s, est PDG de FLB Solutions Alimentaires, un distributeur alimentaire généraliste œuvrant dans le secteur du service alimentaire à Québec depuis maintenant 4 ans. L’entreprise offre à sa clientèle plus de 7,500 produits et son équipe de plus de 100 passionnés est toujours soucieuse d’offrir un service qui se démarque par la variété et la qualité de des produits ainsi que son service personnalisé.

Philippe est un jeune entrepreneur et dirigeant d’entreprise ambitieux et dynamique qui cherche constamment à sortir ses équipes, ainsi que soi-même, de leur zone de confort dans une optique de développement continu. Philippe est un leader axé sur les résultats qui est à l’aise pour analyser et comprendre les chiffres, mais aussi capable de vulgariser des concepts complexes. Il peut ainsi former et conscientiser ses équipes afin qu’ils puissent se dépasser dans l’accomplissement de leurs objectifs.

Sébastien Fiset, Président, Co-fondateur de Cookie Bluff

Sébastien Fiset, Président, Co-fondateur de Cookie Bluff à démarrer son aventure entrepreneuriale en 2017 avec la création de l’entreprise Cookie Bluff. Diplômé de l’Université Laval en 2014, et ce, en relations industrielles celui-ci à débuter sa jeune carrière en tant que Directeur des ressources humaines. Sans s’y attendre, ayant toujours eu la fibre entrepreneuriale, celui-ci saisie une opportunité d’affaire à la suite de la visualisation d’une vidéo d’un commerce de pâte à biscuits populaire de New-York. Étant déterminé et ayant la capacité de s’allier des meilleurs, celui-ci développa son plein potentiel et amena sa compagnie parmi les plus grands succès du domaine alimentaire en moins d’un an de vente avec plus de 2000 points de vente au Canada. Déjà près de deux ans après la création de l’entreprise, celui-ci s’apprête à percer le marché américain tout en aidant la relève entrepreneuriale par de judicieux conseils ainsi que par diverses conférences.