Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Devon Hawkins, co-founder, and CEO of Algi, located in Canmore, Alberta, Canada. Devon also has a part-time business in photography and videography.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Algi is the first business in Canada to build a food company around the world’s most sustainable and nutritious ingredient, micro-algae. In brief, we create delicious, nutrient-rich, and sustainable food products centered around algae.
Our first product is the IMPACT Bar--a great-tasting whole food bar with just 6-7 ingredients and packed with all the nutrients needed to tackle any activity. We have two flavours of the IMPACT Bar available--Cocoa & Cacao Nibs and Sunflower Seeds & Sea Salt--with the third flavour in development. Our customers are predominantly endurance athletes (triathletes, runners, cyclists, hikers, skiers, etc.) who benefit from the nutrient density of our products. Our ambitions as a business have no bounds! We see our products, both present, and future, as an integral piece in inspiring more sustainable food and consumption choices.
Tell us about yourself
My co-founder, Alessandra, and I founded Algi because we were fed up with the current food landscape. Our passion for food and sustainability motivated us to pursue anything that would help the world eat more healthy and sustainable. In our research, we came across micro-algae. We learned that it could “feed the future” and was the best bet to curb climate change and feed a ballooning global population. We also learned that only a handful of companies globally were pursuing micro-algae as a food alternative. For a couple of students at the time, it was an opportunity to proceed with a very ambitious business idea with real-world implications.
Climate catastrophes are in the news every week. With these comes the news of more population displacement, more environmental degradation, and more economic harm. We sit at a complicated and dangerous crossroad where our decisions now will have ramifications for all of humanity for decades and centuries to come. This urgency motivates us to show up every day and work to create something that has a real positive impact on the world. Yes, it sounds cliché, but it’s true.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We see value in the small wins. Our biggest accomplishment is seeing the joy on the faces of those who enjoy and benefit from our products. Their happiness is the ultimate reward.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
By far, the most difficult thing about running a business is deciding where to prioritize time and what decisions are most urgent. This is something we’re constantly learning but getting better at every day. The important thing to remember is failing today is integral to succeeding tomorrow.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Start now. It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel prepared, we sure weren’t and still aren’t, but you figure things out as you go.
- Ignore the clutter. Everyone around you is going to tell you how to run and grow your business. It’s up to you to decide which pieces of advice are important and which can be ignored.
- Don’t stretch yourself too thin. Starting a business is an emotional rollercoaster, so give yourself ample mental health breaks and take care of your physical health.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Normalizing algae as a food alternative is integral to sustainable food consumption. So, give us a chance and test out the IMPACT Bar. Tell your friends, your co-workers, your pets! Thanks!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.