A teenager-run Lethbridge company has been named as a finalist for the Alberta Business Awards of Distinction. Screamin Brothers began making non-dairy [gluten-free] frozen treats in 2010, after J.R., Dawson and their two little brothers made a successful pitch on the TV show, Dragon’s Den.
Now they are one of four companies in the running for the Alberta Chambers of Commerce “Young Entrepreneur Award, and are also eligible for the Premier’s Award of Distinction.
CFO Dawson Wikkerink says the response on social media has been overwhelming. “When we announced it last week, it was absolutely crazy for the reaction. We got tons of likes, tons of great feedback and comments.”
It’s an impressive accomplishment for a business that began in the family kitchen in 2010, selling their handmade allergen-free frozen treats to friends, and later at the Farmer’s Market, to raise money for an orphanage in Haiti. The Wikkerink family adopted two little boys, Joseph and David, from the orphanage after a devastating earthquake rocked the country.
J.R. says the company recently got their product into Co-op, and Save On Foods stores in British Columbia. They’re now in 700 stores from coast to coast.
But despite their business success, the teens haven’t lost sight of their original objectives. Five percent of their net profits support children, locally and internationally. They donate to more than a dozen societies and organizations, including the Alberta Children’s Hospital, Right to Play Canada, and local programs like The Boys & Girls Club in Lethbridge, and Youth One, a drop-in centre on 13th St. North. Youth One Director of Services Jordan Schellenberg says more than 3-thousand youth came through their doors last year. “Being a grass roots organization in Lethbridge, community support is absolutely necessary. It really keeps us going.”
But Screamin Brothers is also looking at other ways to make a difference in the world. They compost all their waste, and J.R. says they hope to be solar powered by the end of the year. “We started this company so we could help children, and so now we want to help the environment so the planet can be around for their children and children after that.”
J.R. admits, there is a cost to being green, but adds, for his company reducing their environmental footprint is just one more step, in making the world a better, more delicious place to live.
The Alberta Business Awards of Distinction will be presented at a gala in Edmonton on February 26th.
We owe it all to Dawson and his food sensitivities! Screamin Brother JR may be tall, and little brothers Joseph and David cute, but if you have gluten-intolerance and/or an allergies to milk, egg, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, sulphites, sesame seeds, seafood and mustard.
Using Organic Coconut Milk, water and organic guar gum as their base, they have created gluten-free, allergen-free treats in 9 delicious flavors – with more treats coming soon!
• Orange Pineapple – Orange Juice Concentrate, Honey, Pineapple Juice Concentrate, Organic Vanilla Extract
• Mint Chocolate – Fair Trade Organic Raw Cocoa, Honey, Organic Peppermint Extract, Organic Vanilla Extract
• Key Lime – Honey, Key Lime Juice, Organic Vanilla Extract
• Chocolate – Honey, Fair Trade Organic Raw Cocoa, Organic Vanilla Extract
• Vanilla – Honey, Organic Vanilla Extract, Vanilla Beans
• Mocha – Honey, Fair Trade Coffee, Fair Trade Organic Raw Cocoa, Organic Vanilla Extract
• Chocolate Banana – Honey, Organic Bananas, Fair Trade Organic Raw Cocoa, Organic Vanilla Extract
• Blackberry – Honey, Blackberry Puree, Organic Vanilla Extract
• Maple Syrup – Organic Maple Syrup, Organic Maple Extract, Organic Vanilla Extract
MORE: The Victoria Chapter of the Canadian Celiac Association joins The Celiac Scene and Thrifty Foods in thanking Screamin’ Brothers for Sponsoring Vancouver Island’s Gluten-Free Living Classes!