Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Michael Petcherski, whose company, ThreeWorks Snacks, is adding a new element to the Canadian food industry with the goal to encourage an overall shift in attitude in the near future…
When did you start your business?
ThreeWorks was founded in 2007. In 2012, the brand ThreeWorks Snacks was born out of my love for snack foods and the idea to make snacking fun, healthy, indulgent, and affordable.
Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
ThreeWorks Snacks develops fun and innovative snack food lines under the ThreeWorks brand name. Our first brand to launch in 2012 is ThreeWorks Apple Chips; fat-free, gluten-free, all natural apple chips made from fresh sliced apples and available in six runchy flavours. Each flavour comes in cool, portable canisters. We also partner with other innovative snack food lines including Sugarpova, a fun new candy line from worldwide tennis sensation Maria Sharapova, and Fresh Sugar Free Mints, available in small discreet dispensers in over 10 flavours, now sweetened with Stevia. We are also developing other cool snacks.
Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
Having spent my career in the food business I’ve always had a passion for branding and product development. I also love snacking as I’m usually too busy to eat regular meals. I can spend hours walking through a grocery store looking at new products, package design and displays. Today, I get to see that innovation at the food shows I attend around the world. My inspiration is my passion for food and the creative process of developing it.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The greatest thrill is and always will be getting an order from a customer. There is no greater feeling than seeing a brand that we have created or that we work with make it to store shelves.
Where do you see your business going in five years?
To continue introducing new snack food lines and enter the US market. In recent years there have been many smaller packaged goods companies that have found success with fun and innovative food lines. Most of that success has been in the US and I am hopeful that Canadian retailers will soon embrace smaller Canadian food brands and set aside a portion of their overall floor space to foster their growth. The Canadian market becomes more and more difficult every day with all the consolidation, forcing many to head to the USA and elsewhere for growth.
What does success look like to you?
In my world success is having brands that retailers are eager to stock and consumers are intrigued to purchase. We have been very pleased that our snacks have had very strong support up until this point and our branding message has resonated in the way we wanted it to. Our fun, new jingle is a prime example of the feeling we want our brands to evoke. Our goal is to create and source the best and most unique snacks we can find.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
The first time ThreeWorks Apple Chips appeared on store shelves. There is no greater feeling than seeing all the time and energy invested into creating a brand translate to a real life product that a consumer can purchase off the shelf. You can now find ThreeWorks Apple Chips across the country at Shoppers Drug Mart, Pharmaprix, Rexall, Safeway and throughout the Greater Toronto Area. We are now pushing further into Quebec and out West in a much bigger way.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Be prepared for the unexpected. As Kevin O’Leary says, in business, poo-poo happens. Just when you think things are going well, you will be knocked backwards, but you have to keep believing and pressing ahead. Success in anything you do also has a big element of timing and luck attached to it. This is something that cannot be measured or planned for.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
ThreeWorks supports local food banks and shelters with product donations. We’re in the food business, so we may as well use our snack lines to support others.
What is Notable to you?
Having a passion for what you do, hard work and loyalty for those that support you.
BlackBerry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
I’m still holding on to a BlackBerry, although I gave up my much-loved keyboard for the larger screen of the Z10.
How do you keep active, energetic, and vibrant?
Working out at least three days a week no matter how much easier it is to go straight home, and the lost art of cooking as opposed to eating out all the time. Mix that with a little wine and you have a recipe for success.
#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)