Meet Yasaman and Samira Haj-Shafiei, the Founders of Organic Bytes

With the health and wellness space booming, sisters Yasaman and Samira Haj-Shafiei still were finding gaps in the market for wholesome, nutrient-dense, organic and most importantly, delicious tasting baked goods that they could feel great about sharing with their little ones, family and community. 

With the pandemic raging on, Yasaman and Samira Haj-Shafiei knew that now more than ever, what they put into their own bodies and their families bodies mattered. They saw this as their opportunity to bridge the gap between their passions for health and baking, and to provide a larger community easier access to more wholesome, mouth-watering baked options.

What inspired the concept for Organic Bytes? 

We were inspired to launch Organic Bytes with our passion for wellness and realizing the gap in the market. We simply could not find an aesthetically pleasing cake that checked all the boxes for health and flavour. So our joy for baking, design, and making people feel AMAZING inside and out organically led to, well, Organic Bytes! 

When did you launch Organic Bytes? 

We launched Organic Bytes during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

What made you want to jump into the Health food space? 

Yasaman, already having experience in the healthy food space and Samira, always feeding wholesome foods to her kids and family, made it easy for us to jump into this space. We were raised in a community rooted not only in food traditions and shared values, but in a world where quality and health matter, both physical and mental, pushed us to pursue this venture.

Did either of you have any previous background in the Health and Wellness sphere? 

Yes, Yasaman started another wellness company, Jing Well, focusing on Traditional Chinese Medicine products and lifestyle tips. She got into Traditional Chinese Medicine through her husband, Mehdi Khodakhah, who is a TCM acupuncturist in Toronto. Learning all about how our bodies can heal themselves with natural tools. She also has extensive exposure to holistic nutrition through her mother-in-law, who studied in the field, and due to her passion for the health and wellness world, she was intrigued to grasp all the learnings. 

What is your mission with Organic Bytes? 

The Organic Bytes mission is simple, to demonstrate that baked goods cannot only be made from healthy, organic, and nutrient-dense ingredients but they can also be made delicious and beautiful! 

What would you tell your teenage self, if you were to meet them today? 

Invest your time to learn about the foods you eat today, since they will affect you as you grow up. 

What is the best business advice you’ve ever received? 

With a growth mindset, you can learn and achieve anything you put your time into.

What would you tell anyone looking to break into the Health space? 

As the wellness space grows, really research to see if what you’re offering is unique, or if you’re offering it in a unique way. 

Tell us in more detail how COVID-19 has changed your business 

We just started Organic Bytes during COVID but because of it, we’ve been able to convey our message with Organic Bytes more easily. During COVID, taking care of our bodies has become the number one priority, ensuring our bodies immune systems are functioning optimally and we help in that as we ensure our customers are only eating organic, nutrient-dense, wholesome ingredients. Our goal is to provide a healthy mind in a healthy body.

What has been the best surprise in how people have shown up for your business during this time? 

The feedback we’ve been receiving from our customers has been pleasantly surprising and we love hearing from everyone. 

Here are two reviews from our website: 

“I finally found a cake that I feel good about feeding to my little one. Not only does Organic Bytes make clean ingredient cakes, but they taste fantastic (like actual real cake) and are delivered right to your door! I had a rushed special order and the level of customer service I received was top notch. Thank you Organic Bytes, your cake game is on point!” 

“I was so thrilled to find a business that makes nutrient-dense cakes that are 100 percent organic and free of gluten, dairy and refined sugar. Not only do the cakes taste delicious but they are decorated so beautifully with edible flowers or flecks of gold. You can really tell that they are made with love and the owner Yasaman was such a genuinely nice person. Recently I tried the vanilla cake with cashew icing as well as the Noir chocolate cake. I cannot wait to try the carrot cake as well! Definitely a repeat customer!” 

What have you learned about connecting with your community as you build your company? 

We’ve learned that sharing our love for what we do is truly the connecting point with our community. This includes going beyond our cakes, to sharing our cooking tips, recipes and more. 

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about yourselves and your business since the launch? 

As two sisters, we’ve learned how to divide the work, and utilize each of our own skill sets that support our business! 

What is the easiest thing people can do to support your business right now? 

Following us on our IG platform, sharing us with your communities, subscribing to our newsletter, etc. We are so appreciative of every single act of support that comes our way.

Do you think this is going to change your industry going forward? How? 

We think being focused on our e-commerce platform will affect the industry. We’ve made our ordering system very convenient; customers can order through our e-commerce shop as little as two days in advance, moving past the traditional cake ordering process – which can be weeks in advance! They select their preferred delivery date and time, and their cake(s) gets delivered to them accordingly. 

Upcoming projects on the horizon? 

Our Holiday Cakes just dropped! Make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter to be the first to be notified about future cake drops! 

We would love it if you could share with us a few baking tips for our readers 

Always have your staples on hand! A well-stocked pantry is a key to nourishing recipes. We always have almond flour, coconut flour, almond butter, and spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, chia seeds and more, readily available in our kitchens. 

If you don’t have plant milks on hand, a quick easy way to make them at home is blend one tbs of nut butter with 4 cups of water (optional: add vanilla and pitted dates) and you get a perfectly delicious plant milk. 

Don’t be afraid to experiment with veggies and fruits in your baking, they add amazing flavour and texture too.

Want to learn more about Organic Bytes? 

You can learn more about Organic Bytes on our website, and more recipes and inspirations on our Instagram.