Smart Sweets

Sponsored Content with: BDC

After experiencing years of health problems related to sugar, Tara Bosch knew she had to kick the substance from her diet. However, the 23-year- old Vancouverite didn’t want to have to kiss candy goodbye forever.

Inspired and encouraged by her grandmother, Bosch educated herself on just how nasty the effects of sugar can be and all the places it is hidden in food, from ketchup to salad dressings.

Then she got busy in her kitchen.

Bosch ultimately launched a line of gummy bears called SmartSweets.

Her candy is naturally sweetened with non-GMO stevia, which is extracted from the leaves of a plant called Stevia Rebaudiana. The treats also contain natural ingredients like chicory root fibre, beta-carotene, and others that have functional benefits.

Bosch has hit a sweet spot in the candy market, and is currently selling her product at more than 600 stores across Canada.

She also landed a deal on Dragons’ Den.

“I think that I got a deal because I was authentic in the Den and I tried to really portray who I am,” Bosch says.

BDC Major Accounts Manager Jasmin Ganie-Hobbs says that Bosch’s sales strategy and gross profit were, in fact, some of the other factors that won over the Dragons.

“She amazed the Dragons with her skyrocketing sales,” Ganie-Hobbs says. “Tara demonstrated true entrepreneurial spirit and proved to have outstanding business acumen. She even impressed the Dragons on her strategy for where her product should be placed in stores to maximize buying power.

“I would encourage other budding entrepreneurs to take note from Tara,” she adds. “Knowing the financial metrics of your company is just as important as having strong product and market knowledge.”

Bosch also had the savvy to turn to BDC for help, securing start-up financing to get her company off the ground. As it expanded, the former University of British Columbia arts student knew that an effective sales and marketing strategy was vital, another area where the only bank for dedicated exclusively to entrepreneurs has provided guidance.

The vision for SmartSweets is to become the global leader in sugarless, delicious confectionary products. Bosch also wants to inform the public about the impact that sugar has on people’s health.

Given that it’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t like a sweet treat now and then, it seems that Bosch’s future is bright.

“Having so much success with her first SKU means there’s strong potential to diversify into other similar products and to continue to grow her brand,” Ganie-Hobbs says. “The market and demographic of people who enjoy candy is vast with global applicability. I see unlimited opportunity for SmartSweets and can definitely see why this was a homerun for the Dragons.”

This is paid content provided by or produced on behalf of BDC.

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