Brittany Charlton founded Ohh! Foods with the mission of creating delicious nutrient-dense snacks that are free from the common allergens.
Charlton has grown the business to a household name, with her products now sold across Canada. Interestingly, Ohh! Foods began as a response to a health scare experienced by Ms. Charlton herself.
Read on to find out what this inspiration behind Ohh! Foods is, and of course, how the business achieved its success.
Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind Ohh! Food?
The experience that inspired the creation of Ohh! Foods was a severe allergic reaction I had while having a family movie night. I was having my favourite snack when all of a sudden, my throat closed, and it was hard to breathe. As a result of my allergy, I began to create my own snacks and was encouraged by my mother to launch them into retail locations. After months of recipe testing and attending a few accelerators, I was able to innovate our snack bites that contain five natural ingredients. From there, I founded Ohh! Foods with the mission of creating delicious nutrient-dense snacks that are free from the common allergens. Our products are now sold across the country.
What products do Ohh! Foods offer, and what goes into their production?
Ohh! Foods innovates snacks that are vegan, gluten-free, and allergen-friendly. We have our snacking bites in two flavours: Apple Pie and Coconut Brownie, and our Edible Cookie Dough: Chocolate Chip, Birthday Cake, and Sunflower Buttercup. All our products are made through our co-manufacturer that is certified gluten-free, nut-free, and vegan. We test all our ingredients and finished products for glutens and other common allergens to ensure that they meet our strict standards.
What are the goals of Ohh! Foods, and are they being met?
The goal of Ohh! Foods is to provide delicious, nutrient-dense snacks that are gluten-free, vegan, and allergy-free. “Our mission is to make the world a little safer and a lot sweeter through inclusive snacking.” We believe that everyone should have access to snacks that are delicious and nutritious, regardless of their dietary restrictions. We strive to innovate snacks that are not only safe for those with food allergies and sensitivities, but also enjoyable for everyone to eat. In terms of meeting our goals, we believe that our products have received amazing reviews from customers who appreciate our convenience and deliciousness. We are constantly innovating and improving our products to better meet the needs and preferences of our customers.
What are some of the products that were inspired by your eating habits and taste?
As the founder of Ohh! Foods, my personal eating habits, and taste preferences have heavily influenced the products we offer. After my severe allergic reaction during a movie night, I eliminated a few products from my diet. My favourite product that we created is our Edible Cookie Dough; the Birthday Cake flavour tastes like a party in a cup. All our products are innovated to use natural ingredients and minimum ingredients.
Can you tell us about some challenges you faced in setting up Ohh! Foods?
Setting up Ohh! Foods has definitely been a challenging journey, but one that has been incredibly rewarding. Our top two challenges have been.
- Finding the correct supplier: All our products are allergen-friendly, vegan, and gluten-free. Finding ingredients that match this profile has been challenging.
- Scaling production: As we have grown, we had to figure out how to scale production while maintaining the quality and consistency of our products. We have invested in machinery to aid with this.
Starting a business is not an easy feat, more so for a young woman of colour. How are you ensuring that you stay relevant in the industry?
As a young woman of colour, I recognize the unique challenges that come with starting and growing a business in a predominantly male-dominated industry. To ensure that Ohh! Foods stays relevant and competitive; we are taking several steps:
- Innovation: We are constantly innovating and experimenting with new flavours and ingredients. We listen closely to our customers for feedback and adapt our products to meet their needs.
- Branding: We believe that our brand is a key differentiator for us, and we work hard to ensure that our branding and messaging resonate with our target audience.
- Inclusivity: We are committed to making better allergen-friendly snacks accessible and convenient for everyone. We strive to be an inclusive and welcoming brand that empowers people to make better choices.
How are you making an impact both inside and outside the community? What advice do you have for other young women like yourself wanting to become entrepreneurs?
At Ohh! Foods, we are committed to making a positive impact both inside and outside of our community. There have been so many individuals who have made an impact on me and aided in my growth; I have also given my time to those who are just getting started. My advice for anyone who would like to start a business is to work on your emotional intelligence. A quote I love is, “the quality of your life is the quality of your emotions.” Once you can master your emotions, you will be able to weather the storm that entrepreneurship can sometimes bring with grit and resilience.
What’s next for Ohh! Foods? Do you have any innovative ideas in the pipeline or near future?
This year we are focusing on growth in Canada while exploring the USA. We have some exciting innovations in the pipeline, expanding the lines that we currently have. You can find our products across Canada at Walmart locations, and you can also check our website for more store locations near you.
Chinenye Emezie | Assistant Editor