A native of P.E.I. hopes has bitten off plenty to chew on when it comes to his business venture.
Charlottetown’s Ryan DesRoches has announced his Bandha bar brand is now listed in Sobeys.
It received its listing late last year and is currently available in 26 Sobeys locations in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and P.E.I.
DesRoches received the D&R Sobey Atlantic Leadership Award in 2005 to study commerce at Queen’s University.
“Even before then, I drew inspiration from locally-owned businesses, like Sobeys,’’ DesRoches said. “To be able to work with Sobeys after starting a business has been a dream come true.’’
DesRoches started making the vegan and gluten-free bars after competing as a cyclist in the Canada Games for P.E.I.
“I was eating a lot of energy bars and sugar added products and I realized that there was a need for a healthier, less mass-produced energy bar that was better for the environment.’’
Bandha bar is packaged with a single-film recyclable wrapper which is made by Farnell Packaging in Dartmouth.
This trait, he said, is unique. Virtually all other bars are packaged with wrappers that are made from multiple plastics glued together, rendering them unfeasible to recycle.
“We want to be the most environmentally friendly energy bar company out there,’’ DesRoches said.
As for the future, the company, named one of the top 10 food companies to watch by Food in Canada Magazine, wants to focus its sales within one day shipping distance so its distribution can have a minimal environmental impact. It wants to be available in retailers, like Sobeys, across eastern Canada and in the northeastern United States. It plans to continue doing some deliveries by bicycle, adding more than 1,500 bike deliveries it has done since 2012.
In conjunction with its sister company, also listed at Sobeys, Greens of Haligonia, they employ a team of seven people at their Halifax facility. They plan on expanding by adding additional team members as more locations begin carrying their products.
They also plan on acquiring and growing other health food brands.
“Our team members often say this is the best job they’ve ever had. We’re all excited about making healthy food and doing our part to save the world.’’