Looking for a little more excitement in your workaday snacks? Kalpna Solanki and Martin Mroz of Burnaby-based Martin's Marvelous have the answer: Fig salami, chocolate molé crisps, pumpkin seed cranberry granola. And that’s just to start. What's more, it’s all gluten-free, nut-free and now made with Fair Trade sugar, cocoa and chocolate chips.
Clean food, clean business
Going ethical is great, but it isn't always best for a company's bottom line. The all-important social premium attached to Fair Trade ingredients means they cost a little more, and for smaller businesses that don't make a huge profit on each sale, it can be a dealbreaker. But for Kalpna and Martin, it was a cross worth bearing.
“We decided: you know what, we're just going to do it,” Kalpna says. “We were using conventional sugar, cocoa and chocolate chips which was always a bit irksome because at home we were using organic and Fair Trade products. So as of April this year, that's all we're going to use. It mirrors what we do at home: very clean, we don't use additives, and we use Fair Trade and organic.”
Besides clean ingredients, Kalpna and Martin try to run a clean business too. They pay a living wage, hire locally, and source locally as much as they can. “Our buttermilk comes from a 15-minute drive away, gluten-free oat ingredients come from Saskatchewan, sunflower seeds from Manitoba. I know all of our suppliers. It’s a really clean, ethical product.”