A local inventor is hoping to replace plastic wrap with a sustainable and reusable product, but she needs the community's help to take her business to the next level.
Toni Desrosiers, inventor of beeswax-coated food wrap Abeego, is in the running for a $100,000 prize from the Business Development Bank of Canada.
"We're in over 200 stores across Canada and the U.S. now. Word of mouth has been our No. 1 driver," says Desrosiers from her Rock Bay studio.
The hemp and cotton sheets are treated with tree resin, jojoba oil and beeswax, among other ingredients, which then fit over dishes or around food easily. By cleaning an Abeego sheet with cold, soapy water, a single sheet can last more than a year, Desrosiers says.
"At the end of its life, Abeego is compostable, and our production process is also 100 per cent waste-free," she says.
Her three-person production team creates twist ties from leftover strips, while Desrosiers is planning to reveal more creative kitchen uses for the product in the months ahead.
Desrosiers is now competing against nine other businesses across Canada for the BDC 2014 Young Entrepreneur Award, and is the only B.C. business owner in the running. The winner will be selected through online voting, so Desrosiers is appealing to everyone in Victoria and beyond to vote daily.
"Our goal is to really rally Victoria," she said. "We have a strong community here and everybody believes in shopping local and supporting local business. If we can pull on that, we could really move ourselves up in the rankings."
To vote for Abeego, go to bdc.ca/yea.