Healthy Treats Make Good Eats: A Look at Fressy Bessie and their Growing Online Empire
If you’ve ever found yourself dreaming about keeping your kids happy with tasty treats that don’t compromise a healthy diet, Fressy Bessie is a brand you’ll want on your radar. Finding food in grocery stores that isn’t full of added ingredients can be tedious, especially when there are so many brands that claim to be healthy. Unfortunately, this is often found in children’s food products, hiding additives or surpluses of salt and sugar, leading parents to question their everyday purchases more and more.
That’s why Fressy Bessie is such a fan favourite: they’re a family-run operation that began in 2014, when founder Jackie Kwitko froze some of her homemade baby food. Jackie had been making these purees fresh for her daughter from a selection of delicious organic fruits and vegetables, and in turn, created the first Fressie Bessie ice lolly. These frozen treats began selling at festivals, farmers markets, and special events, and have evolved to become products that can now be found in grocery stores across Canada.
When asked about how COVID-19 affected her business, Jackie was thankful to say that she hadn’t seen a downturn in the company as her products already had a happy home in grocery stores. Despite this, she was interested in implementing curbside pickup on her website, a new option that would allow customers to pick their popsicles up from her kitchen directly. Wanting to jump on this opportunity, Jackie decided to work with the ShopHERE Powered By Google Program to get things up and running, and is now offering the option to her customers.
“We normally visit farmers' markets in the summer and quite a bit of revenue comes through that avenue. So, inlight of this, I decided to try ShopHERE and set up a curbside pickup stop at our kitchen. My advisor helped me figure out the best way to do that and there is now a shop button on my site.”
Jackie continued to mention that the program was very well timed and appropriate given the pandemic, and when prompted with her thoughts on the ShopHERE Program, replied with a piece of advice many business owners could benefit from:
“If you have a storefront you should use ShopHere. All businesses with a storefront who can deliver their product (ours is frozen and it makes it difficult and expensive to ship)- this is the future.”
While Jackie is currently testing the option out to see if it’s right for her and her business, the opportunity to try it was made possible by ShopHERE, a free resource that could help a lot of other businesses with the same desires too. It’s important now more than ever to support small and local businesses, so if you or someone you know is interested in getting started, check out the ShopHERE program for more information. Also, be sure to check out Jackie’s store here, and taste the treats that everyone's talking about.
Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, and Yellow Pages.
A $42.5-million investment from FedDev Ontario and an additional $7.45 million from the Government of Ontario brought together the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, Communitech, Invest Ottawa and the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association to expand the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital as a response to the impacts of COVID-19.