When Kristyn Carriere woke up at about 4 a.m. on May 25, 2019, her whole life changed. She had a lightbulb moment. “Seven Summits Snacks,” the name of what would become her business, came to her in a flash just before she realized her partner, Robin Fisher, should have reached the summit of Mount Everest.
When she woke up again later in the morning, she heard about his death.
“He sent me that gift of like, ‘This is what you need to do with your life now,’” says Carriere, co-founder and chief operating officer of Seven Summits Snacks, a superfood chocolate company. “It was tragic and sad and I had to deal with all the emotions of losing my partner, but at the same time, he had opened this door for me with what he had done.”
Carriere, a marathoner, and her sister Leanna Carriere, a triathlete, came together to create Seven Summits Snacks in 2019. Carriere worked in the chocolate industry for 10 years, and always entertained her sister’s entrepreneurial ideas, but the suggestion of superfood chocolate bars piqued her interest.
The problem with the majority of energy products on the market is that they’re made with carb gels, which Carriere says can be hard to consume and digest when you’re having multiple bars in a short period of time. The other healthy alternative? Chocolate.
“Society puts a bad reputation on it,” says Carriere. “There are better chocolates than other chocolates, and we wanted to make sure it’s present in our bars that we’re giving people sustainable ingredients and stuff they understand on the package rather than all the fractionated sugars that are in maybe a little more of a junkier chocolate bar.”
Seven Summits Snacks offers two products: endurance bars and superfood chocolate bars. The bars are named after the Seven Summits, a challenge that consists of hiking up the highest summit on each continent. The ingredients in each bar are representative of the location of each bar’s namesake, such as Peruvian dark chocolate and golden berries to represent Mount Aconcagua’s South American location.
It was also crucial to include as many locally sourced ingredients as possible like wild Canadian blueberries and honey from Alberta bees. These superfood ingredients provide energy, but you don’t need to be training for the next Olympics to take a bite.
“Our brand archetype is for endurance enthusiasts and aspiring adventurers, so that aspiring adventurer can be anyone who feels like they want to take on a challenge for the day, or you could be someone who walks in the neighbourhood,” says Carriere. “At the end of the day, our big bars especially are just really tasty, clean, sustainable chocolate that people love and understand.”
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