Homegrown Business: Kristyn Carriere of 7 Summits Snacks

Introducing Kristyn Carriere, the co-founder of 7 Summits Snacks, a women-owned purposeful chocolate company based in Alberta. Committed to fuelling your next adventure, 7 Summits Snacks produces superfood chocolate bars designed for the everyday athlete and lover of the outdoors. The idea was born when Kristyn’s sister, a triathlete, questioned the potential of chocolate as a nutritious fuel for physical activity. Drawing on her expertise as a chocolate scientist and with a desire to continue working in the chocolate industry after a personal tragedy, Kristyn and her sister founded the company. Their goal is to create a sports nutrition product that is both effective and delicious, providing a more enjoyable experience while being active. 7 Summits Snacks caters to modern athletes, primarily Millennials and Gen Xers, who prioritize staying active without compromising on taste. They sell their superfood infused chocolate bars to independent outdoors, running, and cycling stores in Western Canada, as well as to outdoor enthusiasts across Canada and the USA through their online store. With a home base in Edmonton, AB, the company utilizes third-party businesses for manufacturing and distribution. The endurance bars are made in Calgary, AB.

7 Summits Snacks

What is your business called and what does it do?

7 Summits Snacks produced superfood chocolate designed to “fuel your next adventure”. We are a women-owned, made in Alberta purposeful chocolate company positioned for the everyday athlete and lover of the outdoors.

What made you want to do this work?

Two driving forces led to the creation of 7 Summits Snacks: 1) My sister (a triathlete) asked me, a runner, if chocolate actually made good food for activity (running, cycling). After consideration, we realized that chocolate makes a GREAT energy source, thus we planted the seed to make a delicious and nutritious sports nutrition bar from chocolate. 2) As a chocolate scientist who moved back to Canada from the UK after a personal tragedy, I wanted to continue to work in the chocolate industry, but from my hometown of Edmonton. With the idea in the ground, my sister and I created the company.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

Sports nutrition is a functional method of delivering the nutrients you need to keep you going when you’re active … but that’s it… it’s functional. We aim to create a fuelling product that you actually look forward to eating when you’re outside and active – something effective AND tasty.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

We cater to the modern athlete, generally, Millennial or Gen Xers who want to be active, go after their goals, and not compromise while doing so. The majority of our consumers like to play outside, in the trails, though hiking, biking, and running.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

We sell sports nutrition bars (superfood infused chocolate) to the independent outdoors, running and cycling stores in Western Canada in addition to folks who have a passion for the outdoors across Canada and into the USA through our online store.

Where in the city can we find your profession?

We are a home-based operation from Edmonton, AB who uses 3rd party businesses to manufacture and distribute our superfood infused chocolate across Canada. Our endurance bars are made in Calgary, AB. You can often find us running, cycling, and hiking through the trails throughout beautiful Alberta.

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

Why is chocolate good for me as an aspiring athlete? Why chocolate? Chocolate has been used as an energy source for centuries. It fuelled the Mayans, Aztecs, and armies worldwide. The balance of fat and carbohydrates allows you to have that steady stream of energy required to fuel your next adventure. These are the natural ingredients that your body already knows how to digest, allowing you to efficiently focus on your outdoor pursuits.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst?

The best part is that we make chocolate, which delights consumers globally.  To see the looks on peoples’ faces when they A) taste our superfood chocolate and B) feel like they have permission to eat “better” chocolate as a part of their daily lives is extremely heartwarming. The worst part about what we do is the usual stresses of running a business, having a job, dedicated meaningful time to your family, and finding time to be active myself. It feels like there are not enough hours in the day and that not one aspect of small business life or my personal life gets the dedicated attention that it deserves. That being said, programs such as the Stacy’s Rise Project can be a lifeline for small businesses, especially in the food space! Not only can the money be a key step to managing your operating costs, but the mentorship support we received set us on a strategic path to growth and the ongoing support I have from likeminded women in my cohort is beyond Valuable.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

Chocolate is the answer – now what was the question?

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

We would love to shout out to GoodGoods in Edmonton, a pair of friends and cyclists who curate good-goods and are passionate about creating meaningful change in consumerism and want to support our communities in connecting with mindful brands.

I’d also strongly encourage any women food founders to go after the Stacy’s Rise Project as the mentorship and financial support available from this opportunity will truly transform your business!  From November 9 to December 15, Canadian women running small businesses can apply for the Stacy’s Rise Project here. The ten women founders in the U.S. and five winners in Canada will be announced in early 2024 and each will receive a $25,000 grant, mentorship from Frito Lay and PepsiCo leadership and a built-in community of powerful women. To learn more about the Stacy’s Rise Project, and how you can apply (or share the application with your favourite woman founder!), visit Stacy’s Rise Project website.

 

About Demian Vernieri 534 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.