CultWorthy: Wellness

As the cold weather hits, there’s no better time to introduce you Well Told Health and their range of products that are made from organic food- and nothing else! Whether you need an energy boost to keep you going after a long work day, or a relaxation boost to shut off your mind at night – you can feel good about the capsules you consume.

How many iterations were there before you signed off on the branding on the bottles. They are genius!
Thank you! It took us over a year to get from the initial design all the way to where we are now. Because we had the bottle blown for us to our specifications it was a very long process. First we had to design it on paper, then we were literally cutting out cardboard boxes and putting capsules in them, then you get a 3D printed version, then you have to get moulds made and so on so, it was an elaborate process. The logo and labels were a lot easier to get done even though our insistence on recycled paper and water based inks posed quite a few issues. The designer Geneviève Lapointe and I have been working together for a long time, we basically finish each other’s sentences. We had a very common vision from the start, so it was a very effortless process with her. I’m very grateful for her.

What is the story behind Well Told Health and what do you stand for?
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago and began exploring natural supplements, I wasn’t able to find any on the market that didn’t have fillers, synthetics or isolates. I began researching the supplement market extensively, doing consumer studies, analyzing 100 of the top brands, and even did a program at Cornell in plant-based nutrition. Two years and 37 manufacturers later saying it couldn’t be done, along with my team, we created a line of 100% clean supplements (which are also organic, non-GMO and free of soy and gluten). In terms of what we stand for, as the name implies, we always want to be “well told”, offering complete transparency, science-based research, and the absolute purest plant based products we can create. We hold ourselves up to a very high standard of quality, efficacy and sustainability.

Monica Ruffo, CEO and Founder

Tell me about a design (or supplement) idea that sucked?
From a product perspective, one of the ingredients we originally wanted to include in our Energy Booster was Siberian Ginseng. Trying to source it put us back about three to six months, as we ultimately couldn’t find a supplier that met our criteria. Another idea that didn’t so much suck as it just hasn’t worked out yet, is that I was determined to use biodegradable plastic bottles, and went down this rabbit hole trying to source them for close to 6 months, only to find out that biodegradable, plant-based plastic doesn’t withstand heat well and let’s humidity through. Because we’re an e-commerce business and our bottles could end up on a delivery truck in Florida, the last thing we need is for them to lose shape and melt. This is something that’s still on our radar.

The health market is booming. Are Canadians caring more and more about their health, or do you think social media making it more mainstream?
I think it’s a combination of things. Social media makes things more accessible, but the population is also aging, and along with that comes diseases of affluence like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, etc. These days people are living a lot longer and we are more attuned to health and wellness than we were previously.

What do you think will be your most CultWorthy product?
I’m hesitating between two for different reasons. Before we launched, we had a lot of trainers and serious athletes try our Energy Booster, and they all went crazy for it because it really does tangibly change your energy level, your workout and according to them, you recovery. It’s not just for serious athletes, it’s for anyone who is working out at the end of the day and could use some extra energy. I also think our Vitamin D Booster, because we live in Canada (most people should be taking Vitamin D daily because we don’t get enough sun), and there’s nothing on the market like it that’s vegan and made nothing but from organic Portobello mushrooms, spinach and quinoa.

Tell us one famous person who’s health and fitness routine you wish you could live by.
I think the person I most admire is Dr. Collin Campbell, who is the author of The China Study, and also the head of the Plant-Based Nutrition program I did at Cornell. He grew up on a dairy farm, believing dairy and animal protein were the ultimate. But through fact-based research, he uncovered that the opposite is true, and completely changed everything about his life style. He is now one of the most incredible advocates for a plant-based whole foods diet. He’s 83 years old and is still super fit and healthy, and I think he’s pretty amazing.

What is the strangest feedback you have received while building the business?
Most of the feedback that would qualify as strange or unexpected has come from people who really haven’t embraced (and maybe never will) a more contemporary, healthy lifestyle. For example, someone went to look at the recipes we have on ourwebsite and told me it was never going to work because the types of recipe sites that people like have nachos and chicken wings on them. So much is changing, but there are still a lot of people out there who are very set in their ways. We have a very clear voice and point of view, and that’s not going to be for everybody.

If someone had $99 what should they spend it on?
I love oatmeal and whole grain pancakes in the morning, and they’re just not the same without Canadian maple syrup. My friend François has a great brand of organic maple syrup with beautiful packaging called 29 Février ($12).

I am also a huge fan of Matt & Nat and have been for a long time. I could easily spend the whole $99 there.

What is next for Well Told Health?
We have some other formulations that we’re already working on. One nut I want us to crack is an organic vegan B12. We will probably also have a Green Booster at some point. We really feel strongly about only developing products people can’t get through food or need to take in higher doses.

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