Yeshi is a nutritional yeast-based dressing and dip. Nutritional yeast is a great source of protein, fibre, omegas, and B vitamins. Yeshi is free of gluten, dairy, eggs, and nuts and is also 100 per cent plant-based.
At Yeshi Foods Inc., we promise to deliver unexpectedly delicious gluten-free foods and provide our fans with innovative and creative products that are nutrient-rich and made with love.
- We value treating everyone with respect and kindness.
- We are committed to all aspects of sustainability.
- We honour being flexible and open-minded.
- We are on an adventure to excellence, which includes creating a culture of gratitude and fun for our customers and employees.
Tell us about yourself?
I’m a serial entrepreneur! I love creating something from nothing and running with fun ideas to see how far I can take them. Yeshi has, by far, been the biggest adventure and most successful! I kind of fell into the food business by accident. I hadn’t intended for Yeshi to become a national hit. We were simply trying to make gluten-free food taste good! My wife, Barbara, is a professional chef. She started playing around in the kitchen, and Yeshi was born!
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
If I could give my previous self advice, it would be to take other people’s advice with a grain of salt! Everyone in business has opinions and knowledge of how things worked or didn’t work for them. There is a lot of great advice out there, but if I didn’t leave room to follow my own intuition, Yeshi wouldn’t be where it is today. It’s great to have mentors, but when you’re creating something truly unique, following someone else’s step-by-step blueprint isn’t always what will work best for you. You have to learn to trust yourself and take risks.
What problem does your business solve?
Yeshi started out as a salad dressing and is now basically an everything sauce! Our original goal was to make gluten-free food taste good, but our fans span much further than the gluten-free community. Because Yeshi is plant-based and nutritional yeast is a complete protein, it works well for the vegan community as well. Yeshi is a simple solution as a quick sauce for bowls, veggies, and marinades, making it great for families on the go. Because of its versatility, we’ve created the tagline “Try it on Everything!”
What is the inspiration behind your business?
I had been experiencing major fluctuations in my mood, with periods of anxiety and depression that couldn’t be explained by our traditional medical model. After trying a gluten-free diet and realizing that it was the solution to my health concerns, I started to find that most gluten-free foods lacked that pop of flavour I love. Barbara worked hard to create and refine our recipe, making it a dressing I’d take everywhere with me as a flavour booster for my new gluten-free lifestyle! Today, Yeshi is an all-in-one dressing, sauce, and dip that enhances the flavour of just about every dish.
What is your magic sauce?
We like to say our secret ingredient is love. 🙂 We have the most incredible team who are the foundation of our success. The dressing sells itself, but it helps to have a team that cares about our business and customers as much as we do. We believe kindness goes a long way, and we treat everyone like family, from the people who deliver our products to the staff at the stores that sell them to the parent committees that organize Yeshi school fundraisers. We treat everyone with respect.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
What started out at our local community market on Vancouver Island is now available across Canada! In the next five years, we plan to be available internationally and launch new product lines that are 100 per cent gluten-free and plant-based. We’re currently working on new flavours for our dressings and will also have dry nutritional yeast flakes available on store shelves later this year.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Our biggest challenge so far has been pacing our growth. When Yeshi exploded in Western Canada, we knew we needed to be strategic about how we spread across the rest of the country. It’s common for businesses to jump the gun so-to-speak when exciting growth happens quickly, and this can often lead to a crash after the boom. We’re learning as we go and are grateful for the mentors who have helped guide us along the way. Because we have been strategic and created sustainable growth, we’re now available in over 500 grocery retailers in Canada!
How can people get involved?
Visit our website to find a Yeshi retailer near you! www.yeshidressing.com.
If you’re interested in learning more about our fundraising program, visit www.yeshidressing.com/fundraising-program/