Saskatoon resident and Sweet Nutrition co-founder and vice president, Austin Calladine and Regina born co-founder and CEO Casey Parker, decided to start their own company after noticing the demand for healthy snacks.
Sweet Nutrition was a hit when it first got to market in Saskatoon in 2018 with a handmade healthy alternative to donuts.
Making it a family affair, Austin’s grandmother ended up being their first head baker. Austin and Casey admit to having few skills in the kitchen then.
“We had her in the kitchen along with a few of some of her friends who were also bakers. We would drive out to her house which was about half an hour out of the city and bake all our products there and drive them back in and deliver them to all our local stores,” said Calladine.
The pair tried to create a healthier donut, decorated their own way and met with very positive response.
However, they were hand delivering all their products around Saskatoon, as well as Regina, and didn’t make much of a profit.
Then after much talk, Casey decided to make a healthy version of a homemade cookie.
“He whipped up these cookies and he couldn’t stop eating them he said. So I was like let me in on that, let me try it,” said Calladine.
To make ends meet, Austin and Casey even lived in their office for three months while trying to get their business off the ground. It all paid off.
From flavours to packaging, everything has been personally created by the entrepreneurs.
They personally hand-make the cookies. They have learned their way around the kitchen since their first year of business.
They now have four flavours which include double chocolate, snickerdoodle, peanut butter and their most popular chocolate chip.
The cookies fit into many different diets: keto, dairy free, gluten free, plant based, and they have less than one gram of sugar.
“We like to call them the best tasting better for you snack in the world,” said Parker.
Their first year in business brought in around $35,000 in sales. Their products gained traction in the province very quickly.
Tanis Roberts was the first sales representative to bring Sweet Nutrition into stores outside of Saskatoon. She now holds a very close and cherished relationship with the Sweet co-founders.
“I know their hard work and dedication to this line, into this brand, into this testing, into this marketing, into it all… but proud isn’t enough,” said Roberts.
In 2019, 330 companies carried their products and their revenue was around $330,000. In 2022, over 2,000 stores have Sweet Nutrition on shelves across the world, while sales have quadrupled.
“We’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way and I feel like think that’s kind of honestly what got us to where we are now. We failed, but we tried to fail forward,” said Parker.
The duo just signed their largest deal yet, bringing their products to just over 700 7-Eleven stores across Canada.
“I think our product fits really well with convenience so I think it’ll be a great fit,” said Parker.
Austin and Casey look to continue building their business and expanding their product to different markets while giving cookie fans something sweet to snack on.