Canadian Grocer and Our Journey with The Plant Based Workshop

Canadian Grocer and Our Journey with The Plant Based Workshop

Jun 28, 2024The Plant Based Workshop

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The Plant Based Workshop was recently featured in Canadian Grocer Magazine!

2 page spread, PEOPLE-who you need to know section.

This was such a great opportunity to share Mayumi, Tak and Hanaca’s plant-based story and passion for The Plant Based Workshop. In the Canadian Grocer Magazine interview, they shared the following topics!

Revisiting Their Relationship with Food

In 2015, their journey began when their father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

This challenging time made them, siblings Mayumi Bae, Tak Yamada, and Hanaca Yamada, rethink the way they fed themselves and their families.

They struggled to find tasty Asian-inspired plant-based meals in Vancouver, which inspired them to create their own.

The Origin of The Workshop Vegetarian Café

Mayumi, who had a background in sales, marketing, food, and hospitality, shared her vision in offering Asian-inspired plant-based cuisine.

In honour of their father, they opened The Workshop Vegetarian Café in North Vancouver. It quickly became a hit, and by 2017, Tak joined full-time, leaving his job as a high-school teacher.

They realized They had something special and decided to go all-in.

From Café to Consumer Packaged Goods

By 2019, they had launched their first line of packaged goods. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the siblings adapted and continued to grow.

They rebranded as The Plant Based Workshop and enhanced their packaging, scaling up production to meet demand.

Hanaca had joined full-time, leaving her job as a flight attendant at this time.

 

Expanding Their Reach

In 2022, The Plant Based Workshop partnered with a distribution company, allowing them to reach significant milestones.

Their products were sold in over 100 stores in Vancouver, and they had secured major buyers like Whole Foods Market in British Columbia, and e-commerce giants like Spud.ca.

They had also entered the foodservice industry, selling their products to be served at universities such as University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University.

Innovating with Noods and Mochi Cakes

Last year, they expanded further with their shelf-stable Noods plant-based ramen kits and chocolate and matcha mochi cake mixes.

Collaborating with UBC on dehydration technology, ensuring high nutrition content and quality.

The siblings boasted, “when customers taste our ramen and broth for the first time, their reactions are priceless. It's moments like these that make all the hard work worth it.”

Plant based canadian grocer

Looking to the Future

The Plant Based Workshop is just getting started. Now researching and looking at the export market and continuing to innovate within the foodservice industry.

Mayumi explains the challenges and triumphs of being in business with family, inspired by their father's legacy, is incredibly fulfilling.

They are proud to share their passion for plant-based living and look forward to what's next.

Personal Reflections

During the interview, they shared their favourite aspects of the business. Mayumi loves the passion in the food industry and the creativity it brings. 

Tak enjoys the growth and learning opportunities. 

Hanaca finds joy in the positive feedback from our customers.  

The siblings also talked about their favourite products, like how Tak’s daughters love the frozen potato-leek broth, and our hobbies outside of work. 

Hanaca gets satisfaction over customer’s purchasing The Plant Based Workshop’s products with their hard earned dollars.

Mayumi enjoys trail running in her spare time, and spending time with her husband and kids.

Sharing Mayumi, Tak and Hanaca’s journey with the Canadian Grocer was a wonderful opportunity to reflect on how far they had come and their exciting plans for the future.

Please join them on this journey and try The Plant Based Workshop’s products, made with love and a commitment to plant-based living.

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