Jackie Kwitko, Founder and President of Fressy Bessie and a Rhyze Ventures program participant said the program is fabulous! “I just feel Innovation Guelph wants to help companies grow and succeed,” she said.
Fressy Bessie makes the healthiest popsicle on the market, according to Kwitko. They use certified organic fruits and vegetables with no added sugars, juice or water. “We think fruit is sweet enough,” Kwitko said. “We want everyone to be able to eat them regardless of food sensitivities.” The frozen pops are targeted to diabetics and healthy parents and their kids and care about what they eat.
A friend who had previously participated in Rhyze Ventures recommended the program, telling Kwitko that whatever her goals were, IG will help and Kwitko said, “She was absolutely right!”
As their best season is just beginning, Kwitko said they have achieved some goals since starting Rhyze Ventures and they are positioned to achieve more throughout the summer. The Rhyze Ventures project focused on distribution and marketing. IG mentor Kevin Boone helped connect Kwitko with others who could address her specific business needs. Nancy Carroll helped find an additional distributor out west and another smaller one in Ontario. She also helped Kwitko manage some distributor challenges.
Marketing support from Saskia Brussaard led to increased presence on Instagram and a connection with Your Half Plate who featured Fessy Bessie on their blog resulting in dramatically increased website visits. Brussaard also connected Fressy Bessie with another IG client, Friendly Fables. Both Fressy Bessie and Friendly Fables were looking to build their audience on social media and develop more engaging content. “I put the two together because they are both targeting parents with younger kids,” Brussaard said. Fressy Bessie sponsored Friendly Fables concerts and saw good update and visibility on social media with one concert goer describing the association as a “perfect pairing for an awesome summer day.” The promotion included a giveaway of Fressy Bessie coupons for free product and it resulted in more than 4,184 social media engagements.
Kwitko said the mentorship provided in the program has been the most valuable and her products are now in Whole Foods. Metro and all stores (243) have increased since the beginning of the program.