Squamish Water Kefir Co. was founded in 2015 by Sabrina Horlyck and Kristin Campbell, both self-proclaimed health nuts who had long suffered from their own nagging gut issues until they found relief from adding fermented foods into their diets.
The first batch of water kefir was brewed in Sabrina’s kitchen while she was studying at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition on a personal quest to cure her intestinal issues. She was quickly amazed by the results she found and was even more ecstatic when her family loved it. Soon Sabrina was delivering to friends and neighbours in a little red wagon with her wee daughter in the back.
The defining moment came when Sabrina received a text message from a stranger that said they had tried her “magic potion”, and it was then that she knew she was onto something good.
Kristin had travelled the world as a yoga teacher, teacher trainer, and studio owner. She had just sold her shares in NeoWhistler YYoga and was looking for a new gig.
While out for a run together, Sabrina pitched the idea to partner up, and the two of them decided to sign up for the next Squamish Farmers Market. They sold out in a couple of hours on a rainy Sunday.
The company has since grown from the small kitchen party operation and has expanded to new product innovations and distribution from BC to Quebec. They are proud to be producing delicious functional food products that are brimming with healthy probiotics and digestive enzymes, contributing to the health of your gut and overall well-being.
Question: How are you supporting other local businesses?
Answer: We have recently switched from glass bottles to cans and are happy to say that all our packaging materials – cans, labels, boxes etc., are now purchased within a 100km radius of our facility Squamish. All of our services (accounting, bookkeeping, sales team) are with Squamish or Vancouver-based companies, and our ingredients come from both B.C. and Ontario companies.
Question: What social and environmental practices are you proud of?
Answer: As a small company, we are looking to implement strong social practices as we continue to grow. We started this business as a means to create work for ourselves in our small town so we could be near our children and tailor our workday to their needs. We offer this to our permanent staff and find it is a valuable perk. We organize our production schedule with input from everyone and allow the workday to accommodate school pickup, Pro-D days and other demands they face as working parents. We hope to continue to provide a work environment that promotes happy employees and happy families.
We have recently switched from glass to aluminum. We are happy to be using the most sustainable option for beverage packaging. The energy savings our cans will accumulate when recycled are far greater than for glass—96 percent vs. a mere 26.5 percent. As well, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by 20 percent.
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