Ethical Business Spotlight: BReD

Welcome back!

This week’s Ethical Business Spotlight features Ed and Natasha Tatton, Co-Founders of BReD! Discover how these two animal rights advocates create vegan, sustainably-made sourdough breads, baked goods, and espresso coffee drinks in the picturesque mountains of Whistler, British Columbia!

Natasha and Ed Tatton | Co-Founders of BReD | Credit: Darby Macgil

You founded your 100% plant-based organic sourdough bread shop with your husband Ed. What inspired you to create BReD and what is your mission?

Opening a bakery was a gradual realisation. Ed had often made sourdough bread in restaurants over the years so he implemented a sourdough program at the restaurant he was working at in Whistler. They had been buying in all their bread from another bakery at the time and this was an opportunity for the bistro to save money and produce a better quality loaf. Ed would experiment with new recipes at home and at work. Eventually, Ed asked his employer if he could rent the kitchen for a couple days a week to make and bake bread for family and friends.

BReD | Credit: Darby Magil

Natasha was a passionate animal rights advocate who had been teaching English for 15 years while also venturing into various food and beverage roles, nurturing her desire to establish a vegan eatery to provide more compassionate food choices for locals and tourists alike. Once the seed was planted that Ed should open a bread shop, Natasha decided to team up with her husband and found the BC Sea to Sky corridor’s first 100% plant-based bakery café.

Our mission to bake healthy naturally-leavened sourdough, wholegrain and plant-based products from scratch and baked fresh daily, which look and taste great, and make every eating experience more satisfying. We want people to prefer our offerings over animal-based products because our objective is to make veganism an easily-adopted and widely-recognised approach to reducing animal suffering and environmental damage.

We strive to create an atmosphere where we can attract, retain and motivate the brightest and most talented people in the industry; where employees can learn, grow, and innovate, while holding true to the roots of traditional baking.

BReD | Credit: Darby Magil

From hearty loaves of sourdough, to English flapjacks, cashew cheeze flatbreads, and hot chocolate with home-made coconut whip, BReD offers unique menu items that are sure to please vegans and non-vegans alike. What are your 3 favorite menu items and why?

Hot Cross Buns | BReD

Hot cross buns are so nostalgic of growing up and you can be quite creative with them. Last Easter, Ed made some with carrot in them, topped with an orange butter, and they were phenomenal! We tried selling them past Easter as they were so popular, but people’s buying habits change with the seasons so we all have to wait till next year.

Spinach + Sunflower Pesto Tartine | BReD

The tartine which is Natasha’s favourite has got to be the spinach + sunflower pesto one topped with roasted tomatoes. The crust is flaky like a croissant, and makes the most delicious lunch.

Our best selling loaf is the country sourdough. It’s a blend of organic wheat, rye and spelt flours, naturally leavened and people love it as it goes with anything – sweet or savoury. You just can’t go wrong with this loaf – it’s a crowd pleaser.

Country Sourdough | BReD | Credit: Darby Macgil

What has been the biggest challenge and biggest reward while working in the sourdough bread game?

In the Whistler winter, it gets down to -20°C in the village, which is especially challenging for sourdough because when the bakery doors are opening all day, the air is coming in and out. It’s quite a challenge to keep it consistent. We invested in a heating and cooling system, which generally keeps the shop at a constant temperature of around 22°C. In the summer, we’ll have extra air conditioning on as well, to try and keep it a little cooler.

Whistler, BC

Being in the mountains, it’s so dry during the winter and then gets so hot and humid through the summer. It really keeps Ed and the team on our toes that we have to adjust – it’s not the same recipe we use day in, day out – sometimes less water, sometimes more. We’ll use a slightly warmer water with the dough or slightly cooler water, to moderate how long the bread is fermented for. Sometimes you just have to wait, or you have to move quickly. Maybe you can go for a walk in the afternoon or maybe you get no lunch break and just keep working the whole day.

The reward is hearing people say “This is the best bread I’ve ever eaten!” or “I didn’t know I could eat bread until I ate your bread. This is the only bread I can eat!

Nestled at the base of Whistler mountain, a world premier ski resort, we get to enjoy natural beauty every day. The views outside the bread shop’s windows remind us how precious our planet is, and the privileges of clean air, water and fertile soils are not to be taken for granted. It is imperative that we preserve all we can for future generations to come.

Using organic locally-sourced grains encourages regenerative farming practices and we refrain from using glyphosate-sprayed monocultures which pillage the land. Most supermarket products travel approximately 2000km to reach the shelf from where they are made. Our grain travels around 10% of that distance to reach our facility and our local customers tend to live within a 7km radius. This reduces our carbon footprint substantially.

BReD | Credit: Mirae Campbell

Using plant-based ingredients means we are cutting out the environmental damage created by animal agriculture. 40% of agricultural emissions in Canada come directly from methane, with 90% from cattle and sheep as a result of feed digestion (according to http://www.agr.gc.ca ).

Plastic is a global problem and we do not want to contribute to it so our packaging is compostable. We believe that our local customers have the same environmental values and respect for the land as we do, and ultimately want to support businesses who contribute to a better world.

Even with compostable packaging, there is still the environmental cost of deforestation, transportation and production, and we spent our first year in business encouraging guests in dine-in when possible, and rewarded those who brought their own reusable cups with a discount.

Covid-19 gave us time to reflect on our sustainability impact, as well as a new challenge of heightened health and safety measures which favour single-use disposable items.

Vegan Baked Goods | BReD

How do you find balance between profitability, quality, and sustainability? What are some of BReD’s practices and policies to work towards a sustainable future?

We looked at our reusable discount metrics and found that less than 10% of customers were bringing their own cups anyway, and came up with a more impactful way to support both environmental and social sustainability.

Partnering with Trees for the Future, we now plant a tree for every coffee served. This way, we offset our carbon and environmental damage of compostable containers while lifting impoverished African farmers up (many of whom are women) funding a programme which gives these sub-Saharan families seedlings, tools and guidance to regenerate their degraded land and create forest gardens for food, shelter, firewood and an income.

Ultimately, the problem of world poverty has to be addressed before we can expect everyone to be on board with creating a more sustainable future for life on the planet. Therefore, we use a Vancouver-based coffee roaster who buys directly from farmers in developing countries.

Supporting local suppliers is more sustainable environmentally but also keeps the local economy going. Many people are looking to buy local more now, and the government has launched many campaigns encouraging this. If you have a good product of consistent quality, people will come back for it and won’t mind parting with their hard earned cash to get it.

Ed Tatton | Co-Founder of BReD

Many bakeries and cafes factor in 30% food wastage into their costs but we want to avoid any food waste by closely monitoring and controlling numbers to ensure all baked goods are consumed and not thrown out, even if it means offering an end-of-day deal or donating products occasionally.

What’s next for BReD?

It’s difficult year to make plans, but actually despite Covid-19 and a shift in consumer habits, we have found that overall our daily sales have improved since last year. This has given us the confidence to open for more days, and hire more staff to introduce new product lines and up the quantities of what we can currently produce.

We have strengthened our employee benefit program, so they will be even better supported from now on in terms of medical coverage and paid sick days, which of course, is a concern for many people during this pandemic.

We are also launching a fundraiser doggie treat with all profits donated to local animal sanctuaries who have not been able to host tours and events due to Covid-19, so need financial support more than ever.

One day, we would love to open another location in Vancouver, but still have more potential to reach in our Whistler store first.

BReD | Whistler, BC

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Thank you so much for checking out this Spotlight! Head on over to Instagram to support this inspiring ethical business!

Clean Kiss Organics – Relaxing Bath Soak and Luxurious Hair Mask Reviews

Company: Clean Kiss Organics

“Clean Kiss has a solution for health-conscious women, men and teenagers that doesn’t compromise quality or effectiveness while offering a completely natural and chemical-free alternative for body, face, hair and home.”

Products:

Lavender Rosemary “Make That Kiss Last” Relaxing Bath Soak

Coconut Kisses Rosemary Peppermint Replenishing Hair Mask

Reviews:

If you need to relax at the end of a long day or the world is just driving you crazy, Clean Kiss Organics’ Lavender Rosemary “Make That Kiss Last” Relaxing Bath Soak is for you! I’m telling ya, run a hot bath and drop in some of this beautifully aromatic bath soak and just let the stress melt away! Why not go all out and light some candles and maybe even pour yourself a glass of wine. Why not? You deserve it!

This bath soak contains mineral salts and epsom salts to detoxify and soothe your muscles. It is naturally fragranced with lavender, rosemary and peppermint essential oils which creates a calming and refreshing aromatherapy experience. After just a few minutes in the bath, I felt SO much better about life (seriously, I’ve been STRESSED!).

You get quite a bit of product in this 500g jar, and you only need about 2 scoops (it comes with a cute wooden scoop) to enjoy the floral and herbal scent. This is a definite winner and I look forward to using this on the crazy days ahead!

The Coconut Kisses Replenishing Hair Mask is exactly what my dry, color-treated hair needed! Its super thick formula coats your strands and gives it a major hydration boost. You can use it as a quick conditioning treatment after you shampoo or you can leave it on for longer. Heat will make it soak into your hair, so you can use a hair dryer or a hot towel to really get your strands back into shape!

I massaged the mask into my clean hair and then covered it with a shower cap. I let it do its thing as I enjoyed the Lavender Bath Soak. I really felt like I was at a fancy spa! It was absolutely fantastic!

The mask left my hair super soft and much shinier, thanks to the 2 main ingredients; coconut oil and shea butter. The scents from the Rosemary and Peppermint essential oils are subtle and refreshing, and you also get notes of coconut and shea to create a sweet, uplifting fragrance. I truly enjoyed using it!

The Bottom Line

Clean Kiss Organics creates naturally effective products for your body, face, hair and home that are high-quality, chemical-free, and good for you! They are vegan and cruelty-free (Leaping Bunny Certified), gluten-free, and come in sustainable packaging. How awesome is that!?

The Lavender Bath Soak is absolute perfection! I highly recommend it to anyone that needs to relax and spend a little “me” time (who doesn’t?!).

The Coconut Kisses Hair Mask is a luxurious hair treatment that will make even the driest strands (like mine) look and feel healthier. This product will definitely be incorporated into my hair routine! Highly recommended!

Thank you, Clean Kiss Organics for sending me these products to review! Head on over to their website to check out all of their products! Let me know how you like them!

Lōa Skin Care – Miracle Oil Review

Company: Lōa Skin Care

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 4.28.31 PM

Product: Miracle Oil (2 oz.) $21.64 USD

Review: With a name like Miracle Oil, who wouldn’t be excited to try this?! My skin was ready for a miracle!!

Lōa Skin Care’s Miracle Oil is said to be a remedy for Acne, Eczema, and Psoriasis and well as other inflammatory skin conditions including rosacea and aging skin.

“The secret behind Miracle Oil is its powerful activation of skin-enhancing phytochemicals, which nourishes and renews cells. We combine modern science with ancient teachings, and have gathered some of the most potent plants found all around the world – from the islands of Polynesia to the Peruvian Amazon, to create a superior healing formula.

Contained in what some call “liquid gold” is the careful infusion of antioxidant Camu Camu and Calendula, tissue-repairing Comfrey and Tamanu oil, anti-inflammatory Gotu Kola, anti-bacterial Tea Tree, and the acne-balancing oils of Evening Primrose and Chia.

The high ratio of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids in Miracle Oil is essential to the maintenance of healthy skin, as our epidermis (outer layer of skin) mainly consists of fats. These act as an arsenal against free radical and UV damage, helping to preserve the integrity of youthful skin.”

Ok, so it’s packed with tons of good-for-your-skin ingredients, but does it work?

My skin is normally very confused. It is dry and sensitive, other days it is oily and breaking out, and it has early signs of fine lines around my eyes. Like I said, my skin needs a miracle!

This oil is light with an herbal scent. I only need 2-3 drops to cover my entire face (this bottle is going to last for months!). While it massages in easily, I did find that it took awhile to soak in, so I opted to use this as a night serum.

I noticed that after a few days my skin was noticeably more hydrated and my super rosy cheeks seemed to be calmed. The dry areas of my skin definitely looked healthier and my complexion was clearer and more even, overall. I was quite pleased!

I even used this Miracle Oil on my dry, rough elbows and upper arm areas, and after just one use, it definitely improved my skin!

The Bottom Line

Lōa Skin Care’s Miracle Oil is impressive! Whether you are looking to hydrate your skin, fight breakouts, battle skin inflammation or even work on signs of aging, I suggest you give this a try! I have no doubt that whatever skin type or condition you have, this product will improve it. To make it even better, the price is very affordable considering the fact that you get 2 ounces of quality, non-GMO ingredients!

Head on over to their website to check out more information about their Miracle Oil, and let me know how you like it!

Thank you, Lōa Skin Care, for sending me this product to review! I’m a huge fan!