This is an interesting business in that Kristen does not sell her own product, rather she provides service mainly to farmers who want to add value to their crop. This is called contract manufacturing, or co-packing for short. The other interesting part of this case study is the behind-the- scenes multi-generational business Kristen juggles. You will hear about her financial journey which included family loans and offsite income to pay the loans. You will hear how she started the business while she was learning about food safety, which led to doing HACCP plans and certification. When there were higher volumes to co-pack, the sales started to drive growth. Multiple juicing trailers were bought, used for processing then sold in different regions. She then purchased a bigger and better juicer. You will hear about the challenges Kristen works to overcome to get her clients’ products placed in mainstream grocery stores and institutions. Kristen has return clients from year to year and the number of clients grows each year, with increased volumes of products from each client every year. Kristen says, “I want to be the CEO of my own company”. She suggests that the SSFPA should consider setting up a program of organized “mentor pairing and sharing of resources” on a value for value basis between members.
Okanagan Mobile Juicer has achieved CFIA licensing the spring of 2020 and the doors have been opened for Kristen and her clients for retail packaging with HACCP certification. The positive effects have already been seen in securing contracts for creating export products and bulk orders for wholesaling to retailers. Kristen is pushing ahead with growth and making plans for even more capacity in 2021.