As we get 2024 underway I wanted to do a recap of our 2023 both to take you along for the ride and as a way to document our journey as I know one day we'll want to look back to see where it all started.
Be sure you read until the end as I'm sharing something never been shared before and the #1 reason we hustled so hard last year.
2023 was our first FULL year in business. We had a pretty great start in 2022 and were excited for what we could accomplish.
We had no idea what was ahead. It came with a ton of highs but what felt like even more lows. The lows always seems to stand out more don't they?
No one teaches you how to run a small business, or how to grow a food brand. Most of the time we're literally just faking it till we make it over here. (while following government regulations of course!)
Here's a quick recap of what we accomplished last year.⬇️
⭐We went from selling on Etsy to creating a new Shopify website that saw more iterations than I can count.
⭐You bought 26,563 HelloAmino mixes. Increasing our sales by over 500%!
⭐We had 85 total market days to include the Calgary Stampede and took part in big markets such as Spruce Meadows and the Art Market over Christmas.
⭐We brought out a total of 10 new high protein mixes, including 5 beverages!
⭐With our London Fog taking over top spot from our OG Maple Pancake mix for the last 2 months of the year.
⭐We gained 4 new retail partners to include our very first grocer, The Italian Centre Shop!
⭐We invested in thousands of dollars of new production equipment allowing us to go from hand mixing and packaging to making over 80 mixes at once.
⭐We won runner up for the Made in Alberta Awards Sweets catagory.
⭐We were selected to be a part of the Bonafide Box getting our Banana Bread mix into the hands of 50 influential people in media and food!
We gave up our weekends for the better part of April-Christmas and hustled hard to achieve one main goal by the end of 2023.
This is what I haven't shared yet and really what we're most proud of as it was responsible for the majority of my stress last year.
Us along with 125,000 other small businesses in our province, took the government Covid business loan in 2021.
At that time I had nearly lost my personal chef and catering business and HelloAmino was still in its inception stage. We had until the end of 2023 to pay back $40,000.
We thought 2 years would be plenty of time but as we approached the final quarter of last year we hadn't been able to put aside a cent. I was terrified.
So, I booked us a Christmas Market season like we'd never seen. Packing in as many as 31 markets days in as little as 7 weeks.
We didn't grind out the last quarter of the year because we wanted to achieve a sales goal, we hustled hard to get the loan paid off or we would owe 60k instead of 40k.
I'm proud to be able to share that not only did we pay it off, we did it in one short month and YOU are what made that possible.🙏🏻
So, when I say that your support to small businesses can change lives, I mean it.
Sadly there are over 34,000 small businesses in Alberta that are at risk of closing because this wasn't possible for them last year.
That's 1 in 5 of Alberta small businesses that could close.
When I promote supporting local and small this is a huge reason why it's so near and dear to our hearts.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support, I'm literally choked up with tears as I write this. We're so grateful for every single sale that comes in and for all of the glowing reviews you give us. 💛
Your words of encouragement and belief in us on a daily basis is so appreciated and often times surreal. 🥰
We have exciting things in store for you for 2024 to include a brand NEW wellness drink to help reduce stress and support sleep plus limited edition releases to keep you excited for what's coming next, our first one to be released in March - Protein Matcha Latte!🍵
Happy New Year! May 2024 be filled with Health, Happiness & HelloAmino!