This article by Taraneh Ghajar Jerven originally appeared on BCLiving.ca
It started with Holy Crap, the artisan cereal made on the Sunshine Coast. Owners Corin and Brian Mullins appeared on reality show Dragons' Den in 2010 and asked for an investment in their gluten-free vegan breakfast.
After taste tests, the dragons understood that "crap" stood for cranberry-raisins-apple-pie. They invested. The next day, the Sechelt-based health food company sold $1.5 million in Holy Crap online.
Today you can find Holy Crap in 203 retail locations in British Columbia. Holy Crap put BC-made health food on the map. In 2012, BC-made health food is a hot, rapidly-growing local industry that’s turning consumers' heads throughout Canada.
About 400 natural health food companies exist in Canada, 25% of which are in BC. The BC health food industry continues to grow rapidly as local shoppers search for tasty, reliable solutions that are allergen-free, gluten-free, organic and vegan.
Here are four BC health food start-ups ready to pounce on the dining and grocery shopping scene. All of these products will be on display at Grocery Showcase West, the 50th anniversary gathering of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers, which takes place at the Vancouver Convention Centre April 22-23.