Business partners Matthew Traynor and Chloe Peake met in 2011 working at his family’s bakery. At the time, neither could understand why no one had effectively solved the problem of providing a high-quality, flavourful food option for people on the go – especially one that was nutritious and still tasted great.
After spending some time dreaming, researching and sampling products from all over North America, The Edge Food Energy Company was born and they launched a nutrition bar product line based on Chloe’s creations.
Local Roots with Global Perspective
The Edge Food Energy Company manufactures all of its products out of Matthew’s family bakery in Qualicum Beach, which is also where their head office, or “Edge Quarters,” is located. To date, they have sold food products with over 450 retail partners in the Lower Mainland, amounting to over 160,000 bars since the company opened its doors in 2012.
The Edge Food Energy Company also has a strong focus on sustainability. Its products are 100% organic and vegan, and it’s the first and only company in Canada to wrap nutrition bars in a 100% compostable package.
And the net effect of their sustainability efforts? Matthew and Chloe rest easy knowing that they manufacture a food product that helps sustain their customers’ nutritional needs, along with the health of the planet and the viability their business.
Early Success and Recognition
The Edge Food Energy Company has seen a lot of early success and recognition. In 2013 the company became a Top 5 Finalist in the Best Online Marketer category at Small Business BC’s Successful You Awards (now known as the Small Business BC Awards (hyperlink)).
What’s more, The Edge Food Energy Company was also named one of Douglas Magazine’s “Top 10 to Watch” in 2013, and was voted Best New Business of 2012 in the community of Qualicum.
Matthew credits part of their early success to their willingness to reach out to others for mentorship and assistance, including Small Business BC, Community Futures, Rowing Canada, the University of Victoria, the Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce, Laboulange Bakery, and of course, their family and friends.
Finding Funding and Cultivating Partnerships
To get their business off the ground, Matthew and Chloe have actively raised money from investors – over $300,000 from investors on Vancouver Island in their first year alone.
Their advice to new entrepreneurs similarly seeking funding? “Find out about programs for start-ups early on in your journey, and research available grants,” says Chloe. “Apply quickly, because everything always takes longer than you think.”
The Edge Food Energy Company also picked up steam by cultivating partnerships both locally and nationally. It has actively sought partnerships with various athletic programs, including University of Victoria and the Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence.
Most recently, The Edge Food Energy Company became the official and exclusive portable nutrition option for the Canadian National Rowing Team, which means that its energy bars will fuel these elite rowers at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
But they’re not satisfied stopping there. Ultimately, Matt and Chloe’s goal is to build a North America-wide, recognized brand that’s known for delivering excellence in health and wellness products and all forms of organic, vegan, portable nutrition.
Their Secret: A Solid Partnership and a Dedicated Team
For Matthew and Chloe, the lure of partnering to start this business had a lot to do with setting their own pace and hours. “I love knowing that every action I take has a direct impact on the future of our business. It’s a lot of pressure, but also offers a lot of freedom,” says Chloe.
Matthew and Chloe’s partnership has proven to be a great fit, and has been essential to their early business success. “We recognize strengths and weaknesses in one another and we communicate very effectively,” says Matthew. “She’s a fantastic business partners and friend.”
But they acknowledge they haven’t done it all on their own. “We are a success because we attract incredibly talented people,” says Matthew. “It might be a fluke, but we feel it’s a gift. You can’t explode into the Canadian energy bar market alone. It’s all about the team.”
Chloe echoes Matthew and says that she thinks one of their greatest successes so far has been assembling an outstanding team of individuals who believe in what they’re doing: “For me, I’m having the most fun with and am learning the most from our employees.”