Chris Magnone, Mark Cigos and Michael Magnone: Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneurs

Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneurs are Chris Magnone, Mark Cigos and Michael Magnone of Temple Lifestyle, a broker, distributor and manufacturer of all natural and organic food and beverage products. What was the inspiration behind the business? Find out in today’s profile…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
Temple Lifestyle is a broker, distributor and manufacturer of all natural and organic food and beverage products. Servicing retailers across Canada, from major national retailers to independents, Temple Lifestyle offers today’s marketplace modern and healthy food and beverage options.

Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
It all started from a passion for a healthy lifestyle and unfortunately a lack of healthy food options in the Canadian marketplace. We decided to create a company with a mission to help bring modern, innovative, and above all HEALTHY products to Canada.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis?
Everything! We want to make healthy options accessible to consumers, so by far one of the best parts is when we see our brands on local shelves. There are so many health problems nowadays, and if people simply start eating even a little bit better, it can sometimes make a world of difference. There is a huge buzz around products that are healthier for you and knowing you, are making a real difference in how people eat and live their lives is truly satisfying.

The most challenging part?
The most challenging part is probably juggling cash flows and having such a small team, just like any entrepreneurial business. Everyone has to wear several different hats and juggle a million things at the same time. Thankfully we have the best co-workers who really care about what we are doing – it makes all the difference when everyone is excited and shares the same passion for success.

Where do you see your business going in five years?
That’s a tricky question as we have always believed the sky is the limit. We are focused on continuing to build our distribution business by adding more unique products to our portfolio and expanding our customer relationships. We really enjoy the creative and design aspects of our own product, Thirsty Buddha Coconut Water, so we plan on heavily investing in this brand. We recently launched in the USA and the brand has been extremely well received. As such, we will look to build our export markets. We also plan on developing other healthier for you products – so stay tuned! 

What does success look like to you?
A quote we all live by at the office:

“Success is not an entitlement. It has to be earned.” 
Howard Schultz

We are all breaking our backs to do the best we can – whether or not we become a multi-million dollar company one day is irrelevant as long as we have all given 100%. Helping consumers gain easier access to healthier products, while enjoying the journey, of course, that’s success in our eyes.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Hands down the most memorable and empowering milestone has been creating our own brand, Thirsty Buddha Coconut Water, from a mere idea to seeing it in stores across North America.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
There will be many mountains you have to climb on your journey – be prepared. Owning your own business is like riding a rollercoaster – enjoy the ride. Keep your head up and be sure to be positive, sincere, and respectful – good things happen to good people.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
We believe that at the root of health and wellness is ensuring we maintain a healthy environment. Our company is a member of 1% For the Planet, an alliance network that allows companies to pledge one per cent of their annual sales to environmental organizations around the globe – we chose to donate these funds to the David Suzuki Foundation for 2012.

We have also donated to the Dr. Clown Foundation – an organization that uses therapeutic clowns in paediatric hospitals to help diminish fears linked to hospitalization by transforming medical vocabulary, protocols and accessories into a world of fun and imagination. We are committed to supporting local initiatives and strongly believe in the value of laughter in healthcare.

What to you is notable?
Giving 100% in everything you do, being respectful to others, and maintaining the respect of your peers.

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
It’s the only thing we’re divided on; iPhones and Androids.