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August 7 2018

An Interview with Welo Founders, Jack and Stef!

Can you tell us a little about yourselves?

Jack: I have always loved recipe testing and cooking in the kitchen, and this passion continued throughout university as I studied business at McMaster. I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in the health food industry, but to be completely honest, I never really thought I would start my own company! I absolutely love taking the time to pursue a healthy lifestyle through daily workouts and clean eating, but struggled with finding quality products with real transparency. Starting our business allowed us to fully stand behind our products and ensure we could offer consumers quality, functional products, which are made of clean ingredients.

Stef: I am passionate about leading a healthy lifestyle and making a difference worldwide! Mind, body, and soul – it’s all about spreading the love. I also studied business at McMaster University! After battling some stomach pains and fatigue myself, partnering with Jack was the perfect opportunity to help people lead more energetic, healthier lives and, at the same time, work to improve the health of people worldwide. You can often find me working hard at the office, catching a good gym sesh on the daily, or riding my road bike around the city!

What exactly is Welo?

We are a health food startup located in the Toronto area, which we founded around a love for clean ingredients, healthy lifestyles, and working together to find the best solution for our consumers’ gut health struggles! Welo stands for We Love – we love your health and your gut! We have over 20 different products, including three lines of organic beverages and six different flavours of gluten-free probiotic bars, all of which are completely vegan and non-GMO. Our philosophy is all about creating super awesome products that do super good things for your body and make a super big difference worldwide (proceeds from every purchase go to building water wells/food distribution projects in Kikima, Kenya!).

What inspired you to start Welo?

Stef -Jack and I met at McMaster University while studying business and became great friends! He loved recipe testing and was always trying to find the cleanest products for his healthy lifestyle. At the same time, I was battling with some digestive issues and reached out to a naturopath for some guidance. The naturopath recommended taking probiotics, which worked very well, but I wouldn’t always remember to take them. Which is how we came up with the idea of integrating probiotics into everyday beverages and snacks, making it super easy (and delicious) to spread the love of gut health!

How did you come up with the name?

We wanted our name to be unique and have meaning behind it. Welo, pronounced we-low, stands for “We Love”. We wanted our brand to be reflective of us and we wanted consumers to see that love is always at the forefront.

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Where are your products sold? Are they sold in stores?

Absolutely they are sold in stores! You can find us in Sobeys, Loblaws stores (Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore, Zehrs, Fortinos), Whole Foods, and Longo’s across Canada! We are also in a variety of independents, health food stores, and gyms. Plus exciting news, we just launched our probiotic bars in Bulk Barn! Check out our store locator here: https://ourwelo.com/apps/store-locator/, where you can chose the specific products you’re looking for and find the closest store to you! Plus you can always order directly through us at www.ourwelo.com, p.s. we have the cutest packaging and since we love to chat, expect a personalized note and tons of confetti!

What is your favorite part about running Welo?

Our favorite part about running Welo is the amazing people we work with. If you check out our social media posts @drinkwelo and @welokids, we often reference ourselves as #TeamWelo or the #WeloFam and it really does have that atmosphere in the office. We are all passionate about the brand and we take the time to produce awesome products that do super awesome things worldwide. We also love hearing the amazing feedback from customers on how our products have changed their lives, digestive issues, or have helped them build a better lifestyle overall.

Is there a favorite product?

Jack – We all have our personal favorites around the office, my personal favorite line is the ferments, and Stef loves the bars and apple cider vinegar drinks!

You give back with each purchase, can you tell us about that?

Our goal is health for all! We love our local and global community and we are proud to build a business that cares and gives back! We’ve partnered with Creation of Hope to bring real, lasting change to Kikima, Kenya (our beverages and bars support food distribution projects/water wells). The proceeds from a single Welo beverage provide 6.5 Kenyans with clean water for an entire month!

How do you spread the word about your company?

We spread the word through a variety of social media outlets. We keep our #WeloFam up to date through Instagram @drinkwelo and specific kids curated content for our kids bars @welokids. We also have a great Facebook page @drinkwelo, and website www.ourwelo.com. The #WeloFam loves to chat and we all love to spread the message with our friends and family. Plus, we all know how fast word travels these days!

Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?

Entrepreneurship must be rooted in a true passion for your company’s mission and products! Your passion is infectious and people love to see innovative ideas that are backed by people who love what they do. Do not get worked up about the mistakes here and there, that’s what comes with entrepreneurship. Stay focused, passionate, and resilient. We always love to highlight new businesses, so feel free to reach out to us @drinkwelo for a chat.

Do you have a favorite quote or go to saying? ☺

Our company’s favorite quote is to “Be What You Love”. This saying is a cornerstone for our business and it stems back to being passionate about what you love. Yes, our products have outstanding benefits for your health, but we also hope you feel the love and a feel a little more cheery when you enjoy one of our products. The world needs more love these days – are we right?

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

We just wanted to thank you for reaching out and helping us share the Welo story. We love your platform and are proud to be working with She’s Fit to Lead. Spread the love!

About Zara Puskuldjian

Hi, I’m Zara Puskuldjian! I am from Long Island, New York but I currently reside in Boca Raton, FL. Recent graduate from Lynn University with my Bachelor of Arts degree in Advertising and Public Relations with a minor in Photography. I love traveling, my friends, family, photography, warm weather and my 3 lbs. min pin, Nova. Oh and how could I forget my undying love for… chipotle. I am a firm believer in the wise words of Coco Chanel “Beauty begins the moment you decided to be yourself.” (:

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