Chickapea helps you discover simple, healthy ways to enjoy the foods you’ve always loved. We offer delicious, organic pasta products made with only chickpeas and lentils that provide 23g of protein, 11g of fibre, and many other nutrients in each serving.
Tell us about yourself?
I attended university and college for media studies and journalism because I love to tell stories and I love to write. I have no formal education or background in business, nor have I been exposed to entrepreneurship through family, but I always dreamed of deciding on my own future and starting something of my own. My first taste of business ownership came only a year before I started to work on Chickapea when I bought a small health food store. I was incredibly passionate about nutrition and was taking some courses on it with the hopes of taking my career in that direction. At the store, I asked my customers tons of questions and listened carefully to their health goals and challenges, and it’s from that research that Chickapea was ultimately born.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Never lose sight of your why – why you started this journey and why it matters.
What problem does your business solve?
One of the greatest tensions people feel on a daily basis is the tension between what they want to eat and what they feel they should eat. Chickapea helps solve that tension by taking favourite comfort foods and making them super nutritious without sacrificing taste.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
People have a real desire to be healthy, but it can be really challenging from a time, knowledge, and expense standpoint. The customers that visited my shop really struggled to feed their families healthy meals that everyone would actually eat and enjoy and that could be put on the table quickly. I wanted to help them achieve their health goals. Pasta is something everyone is familiar with, so it’s an easy transition from a traditional pasta to a nutritious one.
What is your magic sauce?
We realized early on that it doesn’t matter how healthy a product is if it doesn’t taste good, so we have worked incredibly hard to make our pasta taste as close to traditional wheat pasta as possible. We have a more mild flavour and smooth texture than our competition, and we are also organic, have the cleanest ingredients (only chickpeas and lentils!), and we are the only Certified B Corporation in the category. We donate two per cent of all sales (not just profit) to provide regeneratively grown, organic produce to Community Food Centres Canada and the many low-income communities they serve.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
We hope to be the go-to brand for healthy, delicious food options people can trust. When people see the brand Chickapea, they will know that it’s made with nutritious, real food ingredients; that it’s high in protein and fibre, and that their purchase will help to do good in the world.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
My biggest challenge has been finding the balance that’s right for me, between the business, my family, and my personal desires and needs. I think this is particularly challenging for entrepreneurs and even more so for female entrepreneurs because there’s a lot of preconceived notions of what makes an entrepreneur a “true entrepreneur”. Of course, these notions were developed by men long ago and it requires a lot of confidence and unlearning to live outside of them. Remember your own why and define entrepreneurship for yourself. I will say that what has helped me most to find some balance is hiring not only the best people I can – who can be trusted with the work and the mission – but also those with aligned values, especially around balance.
How can people get involved?
You can find Chickapea in supermarkets and natural food stores across Canada and also on our website www.chickapea.com. If you have any questions, concerns or would like to connect, reach out to [email protected]