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Sep 15, 2020

Paul Rivett-Carnac's parents met on a herbalist walk on Vancouver Island in the late 1970s. That walk led them to pursue a lifetime passion for healing rooted in nature.  Together they moved to Ontario and St Francis Herb Farm was born. What began as a business selling herbs and tinctures to Naturopaths and Health Food Stores has grown into a family-owned business that is truly a farm, to having its own branded products on shelf and online.

Today St Francis Herb Farm is now run and soon to be entirely owned by their son Paul, and his wife, Caitlin. Paul, who grew up playing on the farm, learning to drive tractors at age 12, now has ambitions to take this Canadian family business global, while providing purposeful jobs to Barry's Bay and a future for their children. To do so, Paul and Caitlin are investing in new infrastructure, exploring new channels to market, while still maintaining the roots of their business - certified organic and being in a constant conversation with nature.  Attracting talent, customers, and capital is vital. Angela Donnelly, the founder of Corethentic, shares her thoughts on how Paul can grow his culture and his team. Es Rottschafer, a brilliant strategist and founder of Fieldmarshal, provides her insights and watch-outs for building brands in the crowded wellness space. Andrew Staniforth, Vice President CFS, from RBC who supports the agriculture segment, advises on how St Francis Herb Farm can capitalize on their growth.

Presented by RBC.

Deep Roots (01:17)
Paul’s parents started farming herbs and experimenting with herbal remedies while living on Vancouver Island, eventually moving to Ontario to start St Francis Farms when he was 6 years old. The herb business takes hold and they soon begin distributing herbs to health food stores across Canada. Making their own herbal-based products is the next evolution.

Family business in transition (05:45)
Paul and his wife Caitlin are on the process of taking the business over from Paul’s parents, all the while ensuring they keeping their focus on quality and looking for opportunities to expand. Plans are afoot to expand their processing facility and increase their direct to consumer distribution.

Growing up and growing out (03:42)
As the business grows, so does the complexity and becoming a global leader will not be easy. Scaling the business, while maintaining its essence and continuing to focus on quality will be key. Paul needs to evolve his leadership and learn to trust more and continue to surround himself with great people.

Advice for Paul (10:28)
Angela Donnelly, Founder of Corethentic, highlight to Paul that trust is a critical capability for a leader, requiring a preparedness to be able to suspend your need to control an outcome. Es Rottschafer, Co-founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Fieldmarshal, suggests taking the time to understand the fundamentals of who you want to sell to and the values and perspectives they have around health. Andrew Staniforth, Vice President CFS, RBC acknowledges trade financing will be key to Paul’s desires for global expansion.

My closing thoughts (24:20)
Connected to family, across generations, the community and nature will continue to be the foundation to Pauls’ success. Paul’s higher ambition is not his global ambitions but rather using nature to heal us all. Your health means the world to Paul!


Links and References

Paul Rivett-Carnac, President and CEO at St. Francis Herb Farm
LinkedIn -
Website -

Es Rottschafer, Co-founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Fieldmarshal
LinkedIn -

Angela Donnelly, Founder, Corethentic
LinkedIn -

Andrew Staniforth, Vice President CFS, RBC
LinkedIn -

RBC Business page –
RBC Financial Relief page -
RBC Agriculture Banking and Financial Solutions-
RBC Small Business Navigator -


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