I started Truly Organic Foods in 2010 after having survived two very tough traumas in my life. One physical followed not long after by a horrible experience with an x-employer. Funny how the physical traumas sometimes seem easier to move on from than the emotional ones doesn't it? They say that you need dark to have light, bad to appreciate the good, some kind of universal balancing system that humans go through to awaken them from their mundane lives. No matter who you are, where you live, how much money you have, grief is grief, the feelings of betrayal are the same, even people of great wealth have financial struggles and addictions come in all shapes and forms. On the flip side, all humans have the capacity to feel great love, overwhelming laughter, moments of peace, and of course gratefulness for the sweet comforts of life. For me, this time in my life was definitely a tipping point. After reaching a pretty low low, one day I felt this strength inside of me pulling me out of it. Some kind of energy I can't explain fighting its way out, tugging at me to do something, get out of my coma and start living again. My first step was nutrition. The most powerful thing that I have ever done in my life was to change my diet. I guess you could say that living foods brought me back to life.
I knew that I needed to sell these foods to others… I loved the idea of creating an online presence where I could connect with others across this huge vast country of ours. It wasn't until recently that I realized that wanting to be a business owner is and always has been my true life's calling. Even if I had graduated from business school at the age of 25, I don't think it would have worked… you see, the magic only happened when I blended my experience, expertise, desperation to make money, fear of going back to work for somebody else - with - the transformational passion for something that I believed in, something that changed my life. For me Truly Organic Foods is the light at the end of a dark tunnel. The most perfect job I could ever ask for.
In Early 2013 Kent left his job to join me at Truly Organic Foods. I didn't think my job could get any better, but it did! Having my loving husband take on tasks that were starting to feel overwhelming was a huge load lifted off my shoulders. Kent is strong in many ways, he gets most of the brunt work done but also helps to guide our business on the right path. Since Kent has been on board, he has put into play a few initiatives that he is passionate about. The first was to focus on the importance of creating a strong foundation of positivity and connecting with other people as well as companies who have similar beliefs. The second was to turn our business in the direction of veganism. We realize this isn't for everybody, and completely respect others who do not live this lifestyle, however we believe that in order to promote a peaceful lifestyle, we can not sell animals. That includes animal bi-products. We didn't always feel this way, like I said above, over the past few years our lives have shifted into a place where we just don't want to harm other beings on this planet. The third initiative that Kent wanted to focus on was giving back somehow. Finding a way to help the less fortunate get access to medicinal foods, and also to do what we can help preserve the land that these foods are being grown on.
In early 2013 we became connected with Mark & Bridgitte from Giddy Yoyo. Having our tables set up across the aisle from each other at various festivals and events, it wasn't long until we were drawn to each other's positive light and energy. The health food industry is very competitive these days, and I was completely blown away by their warm and welcoming attitude towards us. One of the first things Bridgitte said to me was there was enough to go around for everybody. I really thought that was a beautiful thing to say and it made me realize the abundance that comes with the right attitude towards others and the greater good.
It wasn't long until we realized that we both shared some very important values. Steering clear from the ideas of corporate controls, valuing the connections we make with our customers, selectively sourcing quality products, treating people with kindness... and the most important - sharing these foods with as many people as we can!
Our specialty is online sales to all Canadians (and Americans too!), we love spreading the word through the internet and shipping out these boxes of goodness and love to people everywhere from big cities to small towns. We ship BIG orders or teeny tiny orders. Last week we shipped one tube of cinnamon Earthpaste to a lady in Ivujivik Quebec (google that town and you will be amazed!). No matter where you live, we will get it to you. Giddy Yoyo's specialty is sourcing these amazing foods, investigating where they are coming from, ensuring that their products are organic, wildcrafted, fairly traded and just all around super awesome.
It didn't take us long to develop mutual admiration and respect for each other's businesses and combine some efforts. We became their primary online retailer, and in the process have become ambassadors of their brand and products to all of our customers. We also agreed that we wanted to be part of the bigger picture somehow. Mark approached us with a fabulous idea of working together to donate a percentage of Giddy Yoyo sales. We loved the idea and decided to split the donation towards protecting the land that these foods are gown on, and towards a closer to home initiative that will help individuals with a serious illness get access to holistic treatment centres around the world.
Mark and his colleagues found a very special place called Canto Luz (Spanish Canto - song, Luz - light). Canto Luz is a tree house retreat center devoted to self-healing, environmentalism, supporting traditional plant medicine practices (eg. Ayahuasca), eco-tourism and sustainable living. Dreamed into life by Mariya Garnet and Sara Mason, their passion for conservation and transformational healing united them in preserving 1500 acres of Peruvian Amazon through shamanic practices of the jungle. Canto Luz's goal is to protect and celebrate the jungle as well as to spread the message and tools of conservation to the community beyond.
The minute Mark shared this, I knew that it was something we wanted to be part of. Mark has already been there and we hope to be able to visit in 2014.
As far as the closer to home initiative? Well.. that is a work in progress… I would imagine in about 6-10 months down the road I will have much more exciting news to share with you about this. There doesn't seem to be any current organizations set up to help fund natural treatment centres for those in need. When I first told Kent he just rolled his eyes back and laughed and said "let me guess, if you build it they will come?" lol, Gosh, does he know me or what. This is something that I have considered starting up, however I just can't do it alone. If you are reading this and if it sounds like something you would like to be part of, send me an email and we can chat (lee(at)trulyorganicfoods.com). I have already made a bit of progress with ideas and what steps I need to take to get this off the ground. It may take a whole village to get this concept to fly!
All to say that these are baby steps. Just the beginning stages of projects that we are working on that I wanted to share with all of you. I will for sure keep you updated. We have planted two small seeds and I look forward to seeing how big they grow!
Sending peace and love to you all