If the COVID-19 pandemic crisis has taught us anything, it’s we should never underestimate the determination that anchors the entrepreneurial spirit.
As businesses large and small face unprecedented challenges to their bottom line, former School of Business student Brooke Hammer has faced down adversity, recently launching a new product through her Peterborough-based online Chimp Treats health food startup.
Her new product, Fruitful Smoothies, made from all natural products, is being produced locally with physical-distanced home deliveries handled by members of her team.
Ms. Hammer reflects on the product launch as a time where Chimp Treats was able to continue to grow despite challenges presented by COVID-19.
"It lets me keep my team working and lets our business progress during this time,” says Ms. Hammer, who studied both Forensic Science and Business at Trent, where she built a strong partnership with the Innovation Cluster through the FastStart program. Since launching her business Ms. Hammer has grown Chimp Treat’s market presence across Canada with retailers such as The Healthy Planet and Loblaws.
She notes that while there’s currently “reduced volume domestically” as stores focus on keeping essentials on their shelves, a delay in launching the new product line would have upset new product plans and any associated strategies moving forward.
“When everything was a lot more uncertain and before there were business closures, we really struggled with do we continue with the launch,” says Ms. Hammer.
“We didn’t want to be tone deaf to the situation. I’m really happy we continued with the launch. It has been received really well. We were careful in how we communicated to our customers why we were still launching. We just didn’t want to wait and see where we’ll be at the end of this. We wanted to be proactive.”
In addition to taking and delivering orders for Fruitful Smoothies, as well as its core Nicecream product, Ms. Hammer’s team has communicated to its customers that they will pick up items put aside for Kawartha Food Share and deliver them on their behalf.