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Cooking With Crickets: The Entrepreneurial Journey to Sustainable Protein Solutions

Create Time 2019-03-29 11:03    Views:967

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Stories teach, inspire and entertain us — but most of all, they define who we are. At Witmart, our story begins with our clients and lives on through their successes. Today, we’re featuring the success story of our awesome client Angela Kelly, founder and CEO of Fit Cricket Nutrition, a sustainable cricket-based health food company operating in Toronto.


Three years ago, Angela Kelly had never even tried eating a bug. If you’d have asked her back then what she would be doing today, she would never have dreamed she’d be running Fit Cricket Nutrition, a globally-conscious health food company specializing in cricket-based protein bars and powders. You can’t make this stuff up. So Witmart sat down with the chief Cricketeer herself to learn what inspired her to start her company. 


Angela, a lover of health and the environment, was drawn to an article she discovered about cricket-based protein. “It talked about the nutritional benefits, but also the environmental aspect. It’s a super sustainable food source with very little environmental impact. I was completely sold.”

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Angela provided us with some insights as to the unusual nature of her products. “We just have this stigma, this mental hurdle in our head, about eating bugs. The thing is, we’re already eating insects; there’s no way around it.” 


This is absolutely the case. The FDA and the CIFA allow a certain percentage of insects in all our food so on average every person is eating a pound of bugs every year.  Angela takes the philosophical approach: “if we’re eating them, we might as well embrace it.”


Once she had committed to using crickets as an alternate source of protein, Angela didn’t waste any time. The very next day she ordered five bags of whole roasted crickets online. The instant they arrived, Angela got into the kitchen and started experimenting. 


She began by figuring out the best recipes for cricket bars. She also started working on cricket flour and protein powders to ease in the uninitiated. “The whole idea is to start with a product that people are familiar with, like protein bars, as well as products that have no texture and can be mixed into something else, like flour and protein powder.”

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Angela found herself in a funny conundrum that most entrepreneurs don’t face. Which crickets out of the 1800 different varieties should she use? Not exactly your run-of-the-mill question, but Angela isn’t daunted or surprised by the varieties.


“I often compare crickets to fish. When you think about fish, there are millions of different species, and they all taste very different from one another. Crickets are the fish of the land.” In fact, they are part of the crustacean family. Cricket cocktail anyone?


Even though Angela chooses her crickets specifically for the quality of their flavour, she assures her customers that they would never know they were eating a cricket, not with her creative flavours such as apple pie, chilli chocolate, and lemon coconut.

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Angela was ready to launch. She had her cricket bars baked, branded, and ready to hit the market; but then she hit a massive roadblock. 


“When I launched, I was using ‘Jump Bars’ as the name.”  Unfortunately, Angela’s trademark was opposed in the U.S. by a company with a similar name and services. “I realized I was going to have to go back to square one and completely rebrand.”


The thought of going through the rebranding process—creating new websites, social platforms, product packaging, promotional materials—was almost too much to bear. Angela was determined that this time, things were going to go right.


Angela contacted Witmart for help with her trademark. She quickly bonded with the Witmart team, forging a strong friendship with Kristine, who handled her case. “Even before we met, we felt like really good friends,” Angela remembers.


Witmart quickly got to work helping Angela register her new brand name, “Fit Cricket.” They conducted a thorough, complimentary trademark search to make sure that this time, things would go right. “Witmart took so much weight off of my shoulders. The trademark process can feel so overwhelming at first, but they made sure I didn’t have to worry about it.”


With her proudly registered trademark, Angela and Fit Cricket have been in business for almost two years, and she has never been more excited about what she is doing. Ever the nature lover, she’s working on cricket food line for pets to make sure they are getting as much healthy protein as possible.

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Angela also continues to champion the cause for the environment by promoting her eco-friendly cricket bars on university campuses, particularly at York University’s Regenesis Market, which educates students on sustainable, local food sources. She reminds students that crickets have a much smaller carbon footprint, not to mention a lesser production cost than their beefy counterparts.


“We can have major effects on our environment for the better if more people eat insects. Initially, students are really nervous about the idea of eating a bug. Once I tell them why I’m doing what I’m doing people really get on board.”


Witmart wanted to know what Angela, as a creative entrepreneur with her own startup, felt was the secret to success. 


“Follow your heart, go with your passion and surround yourself with people who are going to uplift you and be supportive of your ideas. Be realistic about what your goals are and what you’re striving for. You need to put yourself out there. People are going to question what you do, use it to make you stronger.”


To learn more about Fit Cricket…

Website: https://fitcricket.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fitcricketnutrition/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fitcricketnutrition/


If you want to be featured, we want to hear from you! Send us an email at marketing@witmart.com to show your interest. 


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