Allisha Heidt moved out to Kelowna from Ontario nearly a decade ago to attend grad school at UBCO. She fell in love with an Okanagan boy at a music festival and then she fell in love with the Okanagan. She decided to grow her roots in Kelowna, a decision Allisha says was one of the best she has ever made:
“When I’m not on my paddle board or finding new trails to hike with my husband and two littles, I’m busy being a social impact entrepreneur and supporting other small businesses in our community as a mentor with the Women’s Enterprise Centre. My perfect day starts out with a locally brewed cappuccino, spending time in the garden and then jumping into the lake.”
Allisha believes that every experience is an opportunity to grow and learn from. She started her entrepreneurial journey by founding one of Kelowna’s first kombucha breweries, a project she stayed on with for four years:
“It was an incredible four years and I learned so much. When that chapter in my life wrapped up, I knew I wanted to make a meaningful contribution to this community by creating a business that focused on sustainability and protecting this planet. And that is how Chickpeace was born.”
Chickpeace is a zero waste refillery Allisha is opening this month in Kelowna. Her goal is to help the local and global community reduce their dependence on single use plastics by providing accessible and affordable planet friendly options to everyday goods. The refillery will have a variety of local offerings from green beauty products, package free foods, bulk Okanagan produce and refillable cleaning products. In the back of the refillery, she is building a community kitchen to rent out to other small businesses.
“Being an entrepreneur is in my opinion one of the greatest opportunities to expand out of your comfort zone. I’ve learned so much about relationships, integrity and the importance of intention behind every decision. One of my biggest learnings as a business owner is to be kind to yourself. Entrepreneurs can be so hard on themselves, because we are always striving to do and be better. Accepting that we are all perfectly imperfect goes a long way.
I’m grateful for my tribe that supports me throughout all my wild ideas, crazy schedules and gives me a shoulder or helping hand when I need it the most. My husband is my biggest cheerleader and I am so grateful that I get to live this life with him by my side. I also have so much love for my network of amazing entrepreneurs that make walking this path even more enjoyable and rewarding.
Once the refillery is passed the start up phase, I will be focusing my time founding a non-profit called Chickpeace Empowered. My intention is to develop an employment skills training program focusing on sustainability and social responsibility. This program will be designed to support marginalized women in our community by providing training that will help them become more employable and better stewards of this planet. After that? Who knows. All I know is that wherever I end up is exactly where I’m meant to be.”
You can connect with Allisha here (below). Questions and comments are welcome!