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May 9, 2020

Kristi knows that the company needs a rebrand if they are going to battle international food giants for market share.  Mother Raw is born, and the legacy of the Founder, and her mission of 'Good on Good'  is woven across every consumer, retailer, and employee touchpoint. Kristi chooses to manufacture in Canada.
Mother Raw continues to innovate into a lineup of plant-based, organic salad dressings, and condiments.  80% of new products fail in the grocery store, but Kristi ignores the odds.  In just over a year, Mother Raw is in 5000 locations, including Target in the USA and Walmart in Canada.
Can Kristi finance this growth?  Can she get the attention she feels Mother Raw deserves?  Is Food Service a new opportunity? What role does Manufactured in Canada play?
We ask Jane, Darryl and Nancy to weigh in.

Small Business Matters series, presented by RBC.


From corporate veteran to entrepreneur  (01:20)
After 25 years working for a multinational, a venture capital firm invites Kristi to work with the founder of Raw Foods. Then tragedy strikes. The founder, Michelle, passes away. Kristi bravely decides to rebrand but ensures that she still remains true the founders' wishes.

Mother Raw is born  (03:42)
With a new name and 21 different organic plant-based products, their mission “put good on good” is the golden thread running through the entire business. Pursued with vigour and without compromise, Mother Raw is proving that plant-based foods are not a fad.

Against the odds - taking on the international food giants  (06:32)
Kristi’s inventive and tenacious leadership, combined with Mother Raw’s compelling vision and the power of offering locally produced products, is paying dividends. Now in over 5000 retail locations, Mother Raw is challenging many of the entrenched international players. Kristi, ignored all the odds, zigged while others zagged and reinvented a dusty category.

The experts share their advice (12:04)
Daryl Jones, CEO of Save on Foods, believes product sampling is key and when getting your products on shelf, high quality, locally produced products will win over international products.

Nancy Rooney, V.P. of marketing for PepsiCo, North America, encourages Kristi to expand through partnerships, aggregators and food trucks and that Mother Raws products are a perfect complement to increase basket size.

Jane Henderson, VP, Commercial Banking, RBC, advises Kristi to finance her growth through debt versus giving away her hard-earned equity.

Tonys closing thoughts (21:27)
Kristi kept true to the founders' mission, “good on good”, ensuring that her legacy is felt across the entire business. Keep building your company from the foundation up and continue to make the consumer your hero and your purpose. Finally, think of food service as a place for consumers to experience your brand and hold onto your hard-earned equity.

Links and References

Kristi Knowles -
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Nancy Rooney -
Pepsico -

Darrell Jones -
Save-On-Foods -

Jane Henderson, VP, Commercial Banking, RBC
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