Women Entrepreneurship Strategy success story: Chickapea Pasta

"The Women Entrepreneurship Strategy had a great impact on our business. It allowed us to roll out some new product lines and test some new markets. Ultimately, it allowed us to bet on our business without taking a big financial risk."

Shelby Taylor, Founder, CEO of Chickapea Pasta

[Music Starts]

[Text on screen:
Women Entrepreneurship strategy
Success Story - Chickapea Pasta]

[Interview with Shelby Taylor interspersed with clips of open concept office and various images and clips of pasta products]

[Text on screen:
Shelby Taylor / CEO Chickapea Pasta]

I started Chickapea in 2015.

I owned a small, little health food shop and I had a lot of customers who were looking for, basically, healthier versions of the foods that they already know and love. Pasta came up over and over again. That was really the idea of why can’t the foods that we love, starting with pasta, actually be good for us rather than take away from our health. I’d say what really inspires me to keep going as a business owner, personally, I think it’s always pushing my own capacity. You know, seeing how much can I learn, how much can I grow, how much can I move outside my comfort zone? Can I make a bigger impact? The Women Entrepreneurship grant had a great impact on our business. It allowed us to roll out some new product lines, to test some new markets.

So, ultimately, it allowed us to take a little bit of risk and bet on our business without it being such a financial risk for a small business. EDC has been a great supporter of Chickapea for several years now. Not only are they a major investor in our company, they also back a line of credit that we have through the bank, which was incredibly helpful when you're a young business. And they continue to support us in many ways. I’d say I have a ton of aspirations for this business. One of the biggest aspirations is to see this business grow beyond the pasta category and into some new categories where we’re still making that same impact of making those healthy foods that we love and crave and still making them craveable, but something that we can really feel good about eating and something that’s good for our bodies and good for the planet.

My biggest advice to other women entrepreneurs is always to just do it. I know I’m stealing that tagline, but I think that we tell ourselves a lot of stories as women as to why we can’t start things or go forward with things. And the more proud you can feel of yourself and the more you can push yourself and the more you can show your children and the people around you what you’re capable of, those same things will translate. And I say this as someone who literally had a child and started a business and then had another child less than a year after launching that business and two days after signing my first venture capital deal. And that is not to brag at all; it’s just to say it’s possible and we are all capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for. So I think it’s just, just do it. Just take the chance and do it because you only have one life.

[Text on screen:
Find out how the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy can help you. Visit canada.ca/women-entrepreneurship]

[Music ends]

[Canada Wordmark]

Watch more WES success story videos

Discover more about the WES