A look back on 2023

It's been a very exciting year at Bloomable. A lot of building, launching, and experimenting. I want to thank you all for sticking by us, giving us feedback, asking us questions, and of course, supporting us. We are here because of you. 

I started on Bloomable full time almost exactly a year ago. It has been an extremely rewarding (although sometimes challenging!) experience working a long side my mom, who started the brand in 2019. Of course, coming from two different generations, two different cultural experiences, we have different ideas and visions of where we want to take Bloomable. But I can say confidently that we are always on the same page on Bloomable's founding principles. Quality, simplicity and accessibility to our customers. 

We started 2023 with just four products: Lion's Mane Mushroom Powder, Chaga Mushroom Powder, Turkey Tail Mushroom Powder, and Reishi Mushroom Powder. It's absolutely amazing to see the product line up that we have now and even more amazing to think of everything to come in 2024. Here are just a few exciting things that we have worked on this year. 

Receiving our Health Canada license 

When my mom started Bloomable in 2019, it was a bit out of a whim and based on her personal interest in medicinal mushrooms. Julia had grown up with Chaga Mushroom her whole life and her interest in it had been reinspired when she found the sort of ugly, brown mushroom growing on a birch tree at her farm in Kawartha Lakes. She gathered and milled this mushroom into a powder and that was how Bloomable was born. 

Personally, I go back and forth with my belief and support on Health Canada's regulation for natural health products. I understand the necessity of having regulations for something as sensitive as natural products but it also has the potential to kill innovation and competition. (Especially with their new proposed rules). Ultimately, we wanted to prove our legitimacy and quality. Anyone who has received a Natural Product Number (NPN) knows how intense, and expensive, the process can be. Label requirements, testing requirements, and meeting site licensed requirements are just a few things that we had to prove to Health Canada. With all that being said, we are very happy that we did so. Each of our products have NPN's, even our Amanita Muscaria (one of five brands that has done so). 

Thinking about sustainability 

There is so much greenwashing in the market. So, so, much. The sad reality is that if you are a consumer packaged brand, you are creating waste. This shows up in not only in shipping, but also labels, old and unusable packaging, boxes, and many, may other ways. We try to choose sustainability when it is an option. First thing we did, we switched all of our old, non-recyclable stand up pouches to fully biodegradable bags. This came with some trial and error, as the first biodegradable stand up pouches we purchased were so easily matted and honestly hard to look at. We increased the thickness, which was a cost we were happy to pay, and we love our bags now. They are still in a work in progress but we sleep better at night knowing that at least they biodegradable. We keep our shipping materials to a minimal, trying to reuse boxes when it makes sense, eliminating tissue paper, and minimizing back and forth shipping when possible. These are very small steps but something we are constantly thinking about. Of course, this continues to be of focus for 2024. 

Slowly, but surely

The beginning of 2023, we only had four mushroom powders out. As a write this on December 29, we have five mushroom powders, a mushroom powder blend, and two mushroom capsules out on the market. Especially the capsules, the investment of launching these products is very high. Labels need to be designed, stand up pouches or bottles need to be ordered, quality control, and of course working with our third contract manufacturing partners. I've had a few people ask me why we don't have all capsules launched yet, and I have to remind them that we are still a small brand that is trying to grow intentionally. So we may only have Lion's Mane and Turkey Tail Capsules out right now, but I can promise you that the quality of these products is high and only continue to be as we launch the rest of the capsule line. 

Expansion into superfood

When I studied my own habits and purchasing preferences, I found myself gravitating towards products that were easy to incorporate into my already full daily routine. With medicinal mushrooms, and natural products in general, I always remind people that patience and consistency are pivotal in seeing any sort of results. When I thought of how that looked liked for me, I thought more and more of supplements and how they can be incorporated into food. I was adding mushroom powders into my coffee and thought... this is a product in its own. So we launched Bloomable Ground Mushroom Coffee in October. This was after a year of taste tasting, making sure we liked our coffee supplier, triple proofing that the ratios were right. Once it finally felt like it met our standards, we launched our first product in the medicinal mushroom / food space. We've also launched our Hot Cacao blend, which includes Reishi and L-Theanine. This took months of taste testing and quality control as well. We were a bit late into the winter season but I wanted to ensure this was a product that was really going to be liked. There are so many fun, creative ways to incorporate medicinal mushrooms and natural supplements into our food and I'm excited to explore the superfood line more next year. 

Hearing from you

One of my favourite things I did this year was sending out a large email to all of our customers asking them for feedback on our products and brand. The overwhelming support I received almost made me tear. When I'm working day in, day ou, I forget the impact that our products have had on our customers. It was a really great feeling to hear that our work is positively impacting a lot of people. Here are just a few of my favourite snip-its from the replies. 

"...I drink it every day and it makes me feel way better than just drinking Caffeine coffee I just wanna say thank you I love the stuff that youre  doing..."

"... I love the product!  It has helped me with seasonal depression and I'm definitely noticing the benefits!..."

"...We are very happy with the products and will continue ordering from youI should also mention that when I called your customer service line to arrange an unusual delivery schedule your customer service rep was extremely helpful..."

& many, more :)

A focus of mine continues to be listening to you and your wants. We are here to help you in your natural wellness journey and I really hope that you never hesitate to reach out to me whether it is with a question, concern, or just an update on your experience with one of our products. 

Looking forward...

We have a lot of exciting things planned for 2024. Some of them are launching very soon and we can't wait to share more in a few short weeks! As mentioned earlier, we continue to hold on our guiding lights of quality and simplicity. These mean more to us than anything. 

If you've made it all the way here... thank you! I wish everyone a prosperous, healthy, happy new year. Thanks again for sticking around - we can't wait to show you what we have in store! 

With love and appreciation, 

Natalie

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