MBA graduate’s venture delivers healthy snacks across CanadaOct 26, 2015
It’s late in the afternoon on a busy day in the office, and hunger pangs are beginning to strike. All too often the only answer is to turn to the usual vending machine options that are salted and high in fat in order to satisfy those cravings. After all, healthy snacking choices are few and far between.
Now a healthy alternative is just a click of the mouse away, thanks to a new startup venture that aims to address this gap in the market by delivering wholesome snacks straight to customers’ doors.
Naked Snacks is an e-commerce company that delivers nutritious, affordable, and delicious snack creations across Canada. Founded in December 2014 by Neil Thomson, one of the company’s first customers was Beedie School of Business MBA graduate Tom Malcolm. Malcolm was impressed by the product, and after an initial period of consulting for the company, came on board as its second member of staff in June 2015.
“At Naked Snacks we believe that healthy eating should be a part of everyone’s lifestyle, but also that it should add some joy to their lives,” says Malcolm, who acts as COO of Naked Snacks. “Western society has seen a trend moving towards healthier lifestyles, and my co-founder spotted this opportunity to provide healthy, affordable snacks to people with busy routines.”
Since launching less than a year ago, Naked Snacks has delivered its snack boxes containing whole grown ingredients to customers across the country. The venture recently ran a Kickstarter campaign with a target of $10,000 – a target it exceeded by almost 50 percent.
While the campaign was clearly successful financially, according to Malcolm the increased brand awareness that it also provided is equally valuable.
“Although the Kickstarter campaign was about raising capital – we are a startup after all – we saw it just as much as a marketing campaign,” says Malcolm. “To get as many new customers through another form of advertising would not have been as economical. We aim to bring on another 300 new customers in the next few months through this campaign, which will allow us to expand our product line and hire more staff.”
In addition to improving the lives of Canadians through healthy diet, Naked Snacks also seeks to better the lives of those less fortunate through a commitment to social responsibility.
The company works on a daily basis with Pot Luck Café Society, an award wining social enterprise that creates jobs for residents of Vancouver’s downtown eastside who have barriers to traditional employment. “At Naked Snacks, we are firm believers that business can be the catalyst for change for good,” says Malcolm.
After working in a variety of industries throughout his career, Naked Snacks represents Malcolm’s first entrepreneurial venture – a prospect that may have proved daunting were it not for his Beedie MBA experience.
“The Beedie MBA is the perfect education for a budding entrepreneur – it gives you a very solid foundation to run a business,” says Malcolm. “I find that I use almost everything I learned in the program almost every day, whether that is marketing strategy, finance, or managing information systems. The bullets are flying when it’s your own business, but the strong business background I got from Beedie is very comforting.”
For more information on Naked Snacks, visit nakedsnacks.ca