Where does the story begin?
We often and quite regularly ask ourselves and haven’t really nailed it down…
"It's convenient to say it started when we decided to upend our lives, quit our jobs, sell our home and belongings and set out for a new life - a new frontier with no plans or expectations."
But that’s not really fair. The story had to start earlier - the path which had gotten us to that point cannot be undervalued. What made us decide to move away from security, career paths, and fast city-life to a slow, quiet-though-uncertain life nestled in the mountains?
Perhaps it was when we started really talking to one another. We began to take note of life around us. We noticed the abundance of convenience in life - of the constant trade-off between old-fashioned and homemade treasures to instead decide upon quick, easy, cheap and disposable.
"We made lists and notes. Determined what we cared about, what we valued. And started to find opportunities to implement changes. And changes we made."
In terms of Alkeme itself, maybe it started when Melinda started making granola bars at home because she grew tired of the low quality and needless ingredients in all of the MANY options. Why waste an outdoor snack or her daily breakfast ritual on a product that wasn’t made thoughtfully? Or perhaps it was when Todd decided to follow an age-old pipe dream to finally learn how to cook something other than scrambled eggs - and he enrolled in cooking school. He immediately discovered a passion for baking - some sort of esoteric mixture of art and science. Then Melinda advanced the challenge to shift conventional baking to a gluten free alternative.
"It still feels like magic every time we mix simple ingredients and time into a hearty, delicious loaf of bread."
However it started, it was innocent and almost by accident. Melinda sold her energy bars at the local farmer’s market in our new, yet very old town of Rossland, BC. They sold out. Until the market season ended a few weeks later and the chill of autumn dropped. So we looked for other places to sell them. We found a commercial kitchen where we could produce and got 2 customers - the local grocery store and the nearby mountain ski resort.
“And so it begins..” With no background, we jumped in head-first and full bore into the world of food manufacturing and the CPG market.
We learned about suppliers. Distributors. Food safety. Importers. Brokers. Margins. Required ad-spending. Listing fees. Packaging. We learned how complex the food industry is. We gained an understanding as to why the majority of products on the shelf are not focused on health or quality. We got frustrated with the challenges of entering this world based on all the advice we’d received. All guidance was to “do it how everyone else does it”. That wasn’t something we wanted to do. So, we stayed the course. We determined our own values and let them become our natural guide.
"We realized it’s a marathon, not a sprint - so we set out to always make strides toward being better. To not cut corners. To not simply follow the pack."
We’re stoked you’re here and hope you love what you find. Thanks so much - your support means the world to us.