Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is The Honest Leaf Tea Company founder Shelby Kroach, who launched her business after demand for her tea blends surged unexpectedly at a gluten-free trade show. We caught up with her to find out what advice she would share with other young professionals and where she sees herself in 5, 10, and 20 years…
1. Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
I am first and foremost a nutritionist. My background in nutrition led me into starting The Honest Leaf Tea Company. I create different tea blends that not only taste great (I guess I’m a little biased), but also serve a function in the body.
2. What was the inspiration for your career route?
I’ve always loved health and wellness. I’ve been a pretty sporty person since I was young (although, I’m not as graceful as I once was!) My two favourite courses in university were sports injuries and sports nutrition. I found everything so fascinating.
3. What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
I’d have to say that the most memorable milestone was when I launched my company. I decided to take my products to a trade show called The Gluten Free Garage. No one in the public had ever tasted my teas. I didn’t really expect much of the show, other than to get feedback from people. To my surprise, people started buying bags… and it didn’t stop the entire day! That turned into getting into my first store.
4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
It’s hard to imagine where I see myself in 5, 10 and 20 years. If you’d asked me this even three years ago, I would never have responded “owning a tea company.” That being said, I’d like to take The Honest Leaf across Canada and into the U.S and also grow it online.
5. Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
I’ve been taught to work smart. I believe that if you follow this motto, you’ll always succeed and be ahead of the game. Stay humble. Networking is key. Love what you do. There will be low points… that’s when you get creative and make something great!
6. Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
I’ve supported many charities and will continue to do so. One specific one that I support is Camp Oochigaes. This is a camp for children with and affected by cancer. It doesn’t matter how debilitating their condition is, this is an opportunity for these children to escape all of the chaos in their lives and enjoy what so many other children get to enjoy each and every summer.
7. What does the word notable mean to you?
Being well-rounded and being a leader.
1. Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
Richmond Station in Toronto. Best food. Great vibe. Awesome staff.
2. What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser?
Probably travel websites.
3. Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
@Beautifuldestinations. It makes you want to drop everything and travel around the world.
4. What’s your favourite cocktail?
Mojito for sure…without the sugar!
5. What gives you the greatest FOMO?
When my family is doing something together and I can’t be there.
6. What would be your last meal? And don’t hold back…
I’d probably say a really awesome homemade burger with some coleslaw and pasta salad on the side.
7. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Everything is about food for me… I love mac and cheese. It’s a weakness of mine.