Canada's premium juice and smoothie pioneer.
Number of Employees:22
The kitchen was a hub of activity and inspiration. Fruits and veggies covered counters and whizzed in blenders as organic farmer Gregor Robertson tried yet another juice recipe. Recruited friends and family stood close at hand, gladly tasting blackberry smoothies and other liquid treats until their full bellies could take no more.
Four months later, Gregor and his longtime friend Randal Ius would ship their first bottles of Happy Planet juice to eager retailers in Vancouver. The grand vision was to create a “high-integrity rocket fuel” that bridged the farm-city divide. Urbanites were quick to buy up and gulp down Happy Planet juices, and came back asking for more. Over the following years, Gregor and Randal successfully managed rapid business growth while upholding the integrity of their products.
Meeting Renewal Partners
Happy Planet needed to grow to meet demand, but they struggled to find investors who believed in a triple bottom line. Then a client introduced them to Renewal Partners. It seemed a perfect fit, but before leaping into legal arrangements there were chats, and coffees, and even Renewal pitching in at the farm.
“It all unfolded with appropriate structure and due diligence, while never losing the personal touch,” explains Gregor. Soon after the first investment, Happy Planet experienced the full benefits of this new relationship. As Gregor puts it: “A lot of doors opened that I never knew existed—opportunities that Renewal was either connected to or creating.”
Now a recognizable favourite, Happy Planet has made its mark. The premium products of its earliest days have become a coffee shop staple for nutrition on the go, while additions to their product line have made organic juice an economical option for the family fridge. Aside from strong sales, their juices have touched lives and changed lives. Free Happy Planet juice is a regular feature at community events and soup kitchens. Cancer patients email their thanks for easy access to drinkable goodness. Organic farmers are expanding their crops and processors are going organic—spurred on by Happy Planet’s increasing demand.
Many years ago, Happy Planet caused a regional transformation—connecting nutrient-hungry urbanites to the natural bounty of their province, reviving consumer cravings for something fresh and organic. Now the Happy Planet brand is an international icon for the good things that come from eco-friendly business practice.