How To Get A Healthy Product To Market
Three Questions With a Local Entrepreneur
Ideas are a dime a dozen. To be successful, you need more than inspiration. You need to do a lot of work in order to execute properly. I’m approached regularly by people who read the magazine or people I see at local consumer shows and events who have interesting health, wellness, organic and local businesses. I marvel at how much effort it takes just to bring their product ideas to market. I caught up with local entrepreneur and inventor of the Veggie Puck, Cheryl McEwen to find out about her journey.
Tonic: How did you come to invent the Veggie Puck?
McEwen: During the winter of 2013 I was feeling very tired & sluggish. I work out regularly and eat quite well overall but I just felt tired. I decided to look at my diet as a path to optimal health and vitality. I began eating vegetables (raw & organic) at breakfast, the most important but often neglected meal of the day. Within a week of washing, chopping and combining various vegetables I felt great but I was frustrated by the time it took to make a healthy smoothie not to mention the mess all over the kitchen counter. I had to come up with a time saving solution. I started mulching, compressing, portioning and freezing my vegetables into handy serving sizes. Soon, family & friends were noticing my improved vitality & began requesting my special "Veggie Pucks". That's when I realized this might be a good business opportunity. I saw the huge need for The Veggie Puck. People want to eat more vegetables, they just don’t have the time to prepare them!
Tonic: What was the process to get to market?
McEwen: For the past 18 months, I have been developing my business called “Make My Day Foods” and I have trademarked “The Veggie Puck”. The first thing I did was market testing to determine if this was something people really want. The response was unbelievable. Since January 2015, I entered the retail market with one store, McEwan's in Don Mills and since then have grown to about about 20 stores in the GTA selling The Veggie Pucks in their frozen foods section. Sales are very good. The biggest hurdle is that the Veggie Pucks are in the frozen section & people just don't know about them yet.
Tonic: There’s a big difference between making food for your friends and scaling up for retail. How do you do it?
McEwen: I source my vegetables from a 500 acre, organic farm near Stratford, Ontario. They harvest at 5am and deliver to our facility by 11am. By the end of the day The Veggie Pucks are in the freezer, locking in that “fresh picked” goodness.
For more information visit theveggiepuck.com