Nuts For Cheese has been scaling rapidly since launching at a farmer’s market stand in 2015. We produce Canada’s top-selling line of artisan, organic, vegan cheese in six unique flavours, including our best-seller Un-Brie-Lievable or a team favourite, Smoky Gouda. We embrace a holistic approach in all that we do, from ethical and high-quality ingredient sourcing and fostering a team culture which embraces diversity, as a Certified LGBT+, Rainbow Registered business.
Tell us about yourself?
I consider myself a foodie and have been vegetarian and then vegan from a very young age. I embarked on this journey while working as a vegan chef and curating the restaurant menu when I introduced a popular cashew-based cheese board. I never imagined my small business would grow to a full-scale manufacturing facility with products available at major retailers across Canada and the US.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
I would remind myself to celebrate the wins! As a rapidly scaling company, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and it’s important to appreciate the journey.
What problem does your business solve?
One of my passions is making healthy, plant-based alternatives more widely available and uniting people through delicious and healthy food. Nuts For Cheese was one of the first to market with a delicious, creamy, plant-based cheese alternative that mimics the taste and texture of traditional dairy cheese. Many aspects of our manufacturing process including the fermentation and aging processes mimic traditional cheese making, and we’ve done scientific studies that demonstrate similarities between the microbial profile of our cashew cheese and dairy. For individuals with dietary allergies, restrictions and preferences, our products offer a truly indulgent yet healthy alternative.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
I am inspired by the growing plant-based movement and catering to a growing consumer base beyond just vegans. It’s been so rewarding to help build a new category with so much opportunity.
What is your magic sauce?
We get a lot of positive feedback that retailers and consumers love our unique, colourful packaging. Nuts For Cheese comes in a triangle-shaped box which allows for creative and eye-catching merchandising on the shelf. We offer innovative flavours not often seen in plant-based cheese, like our Brie and Blue or hand-painted rind varieties Smoky Gouda and Black Garlic, which are visually appealing and cater to the growing charcuterie board trend. Taste is another factor – because our manufacturing and aging process is similar to that of dairy cheese, our products are creamy, decadent, and delicious.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
We recently closed our first capital raise in partnership with Forage Capital Investments which comes at the perfect time for us to keep pace with our growth. We’re excited to invest in equipment, key hires, innovation and marketing that will help take us to the next level.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
A key challenge has been scaling my small batch recipes from a commercial kitchen to international retail without compromising quality or using preservatives. We’ve worked tirelessly to maintain the same taste, texture and quality, while continuously meeting increased demand.