Kelowna folks, we've added a new stockist in your area! Coming next month you can get your 100% BC-grown organic and ecological seeds at Chickpeace Zero Waste refillery. We spoke with founder Allisha Heidt to learn more about Chickpeace, how they serve their community and what it's been like opening a local business during a pandemic.
Can you tell us a little more about Chickpeace and what you offer?
Chickpeace is a zero waste refillery in Kelowna, BC. Our mission is to provide accessible and affordable plastic free solutions for everyday living. We offer a variety of bulk foods, refills for cleaning products and personal care. We recognize that community is at the heart of everything and so we try to support local artisans and businesses as much as possible.
How did Chickpeace get started and what was the driving force behind it?
Chickpeace opened its doors June 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic. I've had a passion for community sustainability as long as I can remember. I came to Kelowna to complete grad school in sustainability planning. After working in the corporate world for several years I decided to take a stab at entrepreneurship. I knew that the business I wanted to create would be one that had a meaningful impact on my community and make this planet a better, cleaner place to live.
How has COVID affected your business and what have you learned as a result?
Due to COVID, many of our refill practices had to be re-developed in order to satisfy the new health and safety requirements. This required more staff to be hired so that we could refill all containers for customers. We also had to reduce the number of customers in store at a time. That being said I think our community embraced the concept of plastic free living more so because of the pandemic. Finally there was a store that allowed consumers to shop in a way that aligned with their value system in the midst of a global pandemic that was now contributing so much medical waste to the landfill.
What does community mean to Chickpeace?
As mentioned earlier, community is at the heart of everything we do. This social enterprise was created to serve our community. To us this means partnership, collaboration, support and grace to all members of our community. We recognize that we are all imperfectly perfect and we believe that we are all just trying our best at the end of the day.
What are you most excited about for 2021?
I am most excited about saving even more plastic this year. But also finding ways to partner with nonprofits to be able to give back. Food security is a huge passion of mine so I am focusing on partnerships and collaborations that help put healthy food into more bellies in our community and beyond. One of my big hairy audacious goals is to achieve our full B Corp certification.
To find a stockist in your area visit our stockist list here.