The Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) NOW show in Toronto, On was a vibrant canvas, brimming with innovation, passion, and stories that resonate.
My heartfelt gratitude goes out to GreenFresh Marketing and Marsham Natural Food Brokers for setting the stage (quite literally!) for my DJ gig at their amazing booth on Day 1 of the show. Rob Rathke, VP of Marketing at GreenFresh, deserves a special shoutout for orchestrating this super fun experience.
Let’s dive into my key takeaways from my first time attending a CHFA show:
The Pulse of Social Good:
Navigating the CHFA landscape, the commitment to social causes was unmistakable.
Purplesful Snacking Popcorn isn’t just about delightful snacking. Their mission goes deeper, with 25% of their profits being directed to charitable initiatives, such as Breakfast Club of Canada, Backpack Buddies Local Charity and Hockey Diversity Alliance Charity. Every kernel pops with purpose.
Cafézia serves more than a heartwarming brew of coffee. Their fairtrade certification speaks of ethical sourcing, community empowerment, and quality. Plus, my chat with Jenna Goodhand, their Executive Director, reaffirmed their commitment to brewing change.
Deebee's Organics wears its B Corp badge proudly. Behind their organic treats lies a drive to champion inclusivity and support the needs of mother’s and
working parents, truly reflecting the strong values of Founder and PhD Medical Scientist Dr. Dionne Baker.
Guardians of the Green:
Many brands wore their commitment to the environment on their sleeves.
Humble Potato Chips, led by the passionate Alicia Lahey, Co-Founder & CEO, is revolutionizing eco-friendly snacking. Their groundbreaking compostable chip bag embodies their commitment to taste and the environment. Alicia's vision seamlessly marries culinary excellence with sustainable responsibility.
The Unscented Company, another proud B Corp, echoes purity in their products and an unyielding passion for environmental care. Founder & CEO, Anie Rouleau, is also one of the kindest souls in our industry and we are so grateful for her sage insights during our own B Corp application process.
ECOS showcased their plant-derived cleaners, each reflecting their commitment to a greener planet. My engaging discussion with Ron Tallia, Vice President - Business Development at ECOS, reinforced the idea that businesses can and should play a pivotal role in championing environmental sustainability and social good.
And speaking of clean, B Corp certified, Every Man Jack is making sure that our grooming routine doesn’t leave a carbon footprint. Snazzy and sustainable? Sign me up!
Foundations of Family Business
The tales from fellow family-run ventures and entrepreneurs were heartening, to say the least.
Nanashake weaves a delightful story of vegan treats and family bonds. Yazeed and his wife Tamara Al Dip are more than business partners; they're life partners creating a brand legacy. Their daughter Rafa has been attending trade shows, demos and events with her parents since she was 6 and knows their business inside out. You need to read the heartwarming story of Rafa’s successful pitch for NanaPop listings at Metro Ontario.
Pepper North Artisan Foods with Anna Stevens narrating their journey to me, showcased the intricate blend of personal and professional lives with her business partner and husband Drew Stevens in the crafting of their delicious artisanal hot sauces. Which was featured on the hit show “Hot Ones” Season 11!
The GFB (Gluten Free Brothers): Jeremy and Jordan Eber are the driving force behind The Gluten Free Brothers. Inspired by personal challenges to find quality gluten-free options, these siblings founded a brand blending flavor and integrity. Their B Corp certification underscores their dedication to ethical and sustainable
practices. With every bite of their products, you're tasting not just innovation, but the passion of two brothers transforming gluten-free living.
The CHFA Now show was more than just an industry event; it was a reflection of dreams, stories, and a collective drive for better. Each brand, each handshake, and each product unveiled tales of ambition, dedication, and heart.
Here's to a brighter, more conscientious future in the realm of health and wellness. We can only move forward!