This is the inaugural article series where I feature products I love. Let’s face it…it will mostly be food and drink items. I was inspired when I took in the Make It show, in Saint Albert in April. It was chalk full of well curated small businesses, but one stood in particular. FrostBites, which is a husband and wife team based in British Columbia. Peggy was a private chef, who toured the world in this capacity, and thus discovered flavor combinations I would not think of. To name a few of my faves; Habenero * Pineapple, Meyer Lemon & Rosemary and Blackberry Ginger.
I can say my favorites, as I have sampled over a dozen. They locally source the ingredients…and you can tell with every cocktail how much care has gone into the creation. They will ship them out to you, so I strongly urge you to visit their website
How long have you been in business?
We started in 2010 as a little farmers market business, making locally inspired fruit syrups to serve over Hawaiian style shave ice. We evolved into manufacturing the syrups over a few years, and didn’t get serious about it being a real business until 2013.
What do you love most about being your own boss?
Everything – even the days where I’m almost frozen in my tracks kind of scared! I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Even when I was an employee at every single job I ever had I was always made manager or given complete autonomy to run things my own way, but at the end of the day, you are following someone elses vision. Despite all of that experience under my belt, being my own boss comes with new challenges and opportunities to tap into a whole different side of myself, to learn + to grow. Being a GIRL boss, even more so.
You sell all over BC, and into Alberta. What are your plans to launch your lovely syrups nationally, globally?
As we really only ever wanted to be just a local, region specific business, even entering the Alberta market feels like we are concurring the world! Weve had a lot of interest mostly across Canada + the US, but now in Europe, Asia and places like Israel. Its wild. Setting up an online store to sell directly to our customers is first and foremost…..then well see whats next. Its important to note that we bottle over 30 flavours over the course of the year so i
Have you always wanted to own your own business?
YES! I knew it early on and everyone else around me knew it. Ive got boss lady written all over me! Being your own boss isnt for everyone, and most small business owners will blurt out, in the heat of a difficult moment, Im going back to 9-5, working for someone else, as you tend to work longer and harder and go home and think about it all night and make (probably) less than you did when you had a 9-5 job.
You’re based in Whistler, for someone visiting Whistler, what is something not found in the guide books you would recommend?
We were based in Whistler. We’ve just set up shop in Squamish now. LOL, honestly, all of Whistler is in a guide book! Weekdays at the Scandanave Spa (less crowded and more chance of finding space for yourself to bliss out), a lazy bike ride down to Rainbow Park to the lake far a jump off the dock, fresh juice at the Green Mustache or a decadent treat at Purebread bakery. A lot of people forget that there is a farmers market on Wednesdays in July and August (the Sunday one is infamously packed), and is a great place to hang out, snack on locally made treats and people watch.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
During the summer, Sidecut at the Four Seasons does an all you can eat BBQ on Thursday nights that is amazing. For casual eats Creek Bread in Creekside is delicious – they really emphasize locally grown ingredients.
Do you have specific inspirations for your syrups?
I used to work in the music industry as a private chef, so I used to travel the world cooking. I was exposed to lots of ingredients we rarely get to see here and I got to work alongside cooks of all walks of life. These places and people have affected the way I see foods, but it’s truly the farmers I am around year round. Their hard work and passion for what they are growing, and the amazingly fertile land that makes up a lot of the lower mainland here in BC, keep me humbled and honest when processing the fruit.
Why do your customers to stay or do repeat business with you?
Well, I like to think because we make an awesome product – and the flavour combinations are vast so there is a little something for everyone, so for regular customers it keeps it interesting.Also, I think it is the personal relationship we try to form with them. We know them by name, we respond quickly to their needs and we try to bring a little fun into their day.
To what do you attribute your success?
Really, really, really hard work. I’ve never stopped exploring new avenues to grow, whether that’s trying new markets out, making new flavours, or working on new strategies for marketing.There is a fine line between being fearless to put yourself out there and to experiment with creating a business that reflects your ethics, style, and way of life and then being super scared of failure, which looks like letting down our customers and ourselves. Walking the line between the two keeps my optimistic and humbled.
Someone once asked me “what does success look like to you?” Once I got a clear picture of that in my head, the rest kind of fell into place.
What is unique about your business?
I don’t think this is totally unique, but I didn’t start out trying to run a company. My husband and I wanted to connect deeper with the farmer’s market scene by being vendors one summer – we had no intention to grow into what we are becoming. I laugh when I tell people this (and most business people will cringe at this) but I do not have a business plan. Never have. We’ve grown organically and everything we’ve created has been intuitive to ‘how does this feel to us right now?’. Right now feels pretty darn good.