2 minute read
The future of food starts with a green-eyed, blond-haired Mexican and a Canadian who hates hockey and cold weather.
In 2015, the Mexican, Jorge, left the land of tacos and tequila to do his MBA in Vancouver, the hometown of the Canadian, Chris. Reunited from their time as roommates while working for Procter and Gamble in Panama a few years before, they talked about starting a business together. The age-old combo of beers and brainstorming brought about an idea:
Importing frozen avocados.
It made sense. Chris had experience exporting frozen fruit. Jorge was close with farmers in Mexico. Avocados are super cheap in Mexico and expensive here. Freezing them and importing them would be much cheaper, and they’d still be just as good in smoothies and guacamoles. It was a slam-dunk business plan.
Just one problem.
Frozen avocados are boring. Even if the business was a raging success, nobody would ever beg us to give a TED Talk about it. Not even a TEDx Talk. We wanted to dedicate our lives to something impactful that we could be really passionate about. Something more innovative, more unique, and more game-changing.
And more revolting?
What about bugs as food?
Perfect! If you haven’t heard already, insects are being widely hailed as a potential saviour to our unsustainable food chain. Adventurous, eco-conscious consumers seem to be embracing the idea and the few existing American cricket farmers say they can’t produce enough to meet demand. So why not get them from Mexico, where eating bugs is a longstanding cultural tradition? And, like avocados, they’re way cheaper down there.
With dreams of becoming the Barons of Bugs, we got to work researching the industry, finding suppliers, assessing the regulatory environment, and talking to potential clients.
Things were moving smoothly until we uncovered an even more interesting idea. A crazier one. One that nobody in the world had dared to use commercially for food despite being incredibly sustainable, healthy, and natural. A real game changer. And a real challenge.
Forget importing bugs or avocados. This was it. This was the opportunity to make our mark by challenging the conventional food industry. The future of sustainable nutrition.
And so began Heilu.
(Oh, and if anyone reading decides to import frozen avocados, count me in for buying a few kilos. They’re soooo good in smoothies.)