Coconut Whisk, a business owned by Bella Lam and Myles Olson won the Agriculture and Food/Beverage portion of the recent Big Ideas Challenge, receiving a prize of $3,000.
Coconut Whisk is a vegan baking mix company; Lam and Olson started this business in January 2018 when Bella had the idea and shared it with Myles. They started working on business strategies and how they would be able to develop their products and marketing. The business has been growing quickly with high demand.
The two entrepreneurs currently sell at in-person events and some other events in the Twin Cities and Mankato. They have captured the interest of the community and will soon be launching their website, allowing them to be able to sell locally within Minnesota. They will also have their products in local cafes and bakeries such as Friesen’s, Bluebird Cakery and Curiosi-Tea. They also plan to give some of their proceeds back to the community.
Currently, Coconut Whisk has five different baking mixes that can be made into ready-to-eat treats such as pancakes, brownies and chocolate chip cookies.
“All of our products are vegan, dairy free, egg free, nut free and allergen friendly,” said Lam. “All you need are four ingredients or less to make them. They include agave nectar (or maple syrup), coconut oil, vanilla extract and almond milk (or any non-dairy milk).”
“Bella has always been entrepreneurial but nothing has captured her heart until the idea for Coconut Whisk,” said Olson.
Lam switched to a plant-based lifestyle over a year ago and soon after started a vegan blog, bellalam.com.
“As she worked on her blog, she wanted to implement her love of plant-based food and business more,” said Olson. “Therefore, the idea to start a vegan baking mix Company was exactly what she’s been searching for.
“Coconut Whisk is a combination of all her passions,” said Olson. “As a way to give back, Coconut Whisk donated five percent of their net profits to animal sanctuaries. This charitable pledge was inspired by her rescue dog, Opie.”
The community here in Mankato continues to inspire them to innovate, expand and give back.
Lam and Olson plan to use the prize money from the Big Ideas Challenge for completing startup paperwork, such as licensing, insurance, website development, company entity fees, training, updating their labels/packaging, and finalizing their product recipes.
Five years down the road, these entrepreneurs hope to see their products on the shelves of Whole Foods, Fresh Thyme and on Amazon.
“We also hope to be less in the operations of the company and more in the community creating lasting partnerships and doing promotional and marketing activities,” said Lam. “We’re also looking forward to building a talented and dedicated team that represents the heart-centered values of Coconut Whisk.”
For more information, you can follow them on Instagram (@coconutwhisk) facebook (@coconutwhiskbakingco) and email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.