Considering everything from nutrition to environmental impact in business

It can be difficult to find plant-based, gluten-free snacks and healthy dessert options in PEI.

Michaela Uchtenhagen helped change that by creating Earth Bitez, a local business in Charlottetown that provides healthy bites to satisfy people’s taste buds, leaving them feeling good.

A Red Seal chef with a degree in Foods and Nutritional Science, Uchtenhagen prides herself in providing a product that is both nutritious and environmentally conscious. Each bite is packed with healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, plant-based proteins, super powders, and an abundance of vitamins and minerals.

The Bitez are made primarily from dates and nuts, which are full of fibre to help with digestion, protein to help build strong muscles and healthy fats, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for healthy skin, nails, and improving joint and bone health, Uchtenhagen said.

“Providing a product that is nourishing and healthy, but also causes no harm to animals and reduces one’s environmental impact is something my business will always stand by.”

Michaela Uchtenhagen, founder of Earth Bitez submitted photo

Uchtenhagen reduces her impact by staying away from single-use plastics, and she plans to introduce compostable packaging for her products soon.
She suggests that being a plant-based business, she is able to reduce her footprint through the lower water usage, lower greenhouse gas emissions created in the farming of the ingredients, and the significantly lower amount of fossil fuels required to produce food for a plant-based product.
As well, she is sourcing local ingredients from environmentally conscientious companies as much as possible.

“The coffee I choose to use for my Chocolate Espresso bite is from a Maritime company called Laughing Whale and they choose to roast their organic fair trade beans in an eco-friendly roaster, recycling the heat and producing little emissions in the process.”

It has been a whirlwind since starting her business from the ground up in October 2018. “The support and encouragement from fellow entrepreneurs, the Startup Zone community, as well as local businesses has been absolutely incredible. Everyone is willing to listen, share their struggles and wins, and provide insight and advice to help you improve.”

High quality ingredients go into every bite

Being faced with challenges is a given when one is an entrepreneur. One has to learn how to say ‘no,’ Uchtenhagen said.

“Although I absolutely love what I have the privilege of doing, it is so important to take a bit of time for oneself.”

Often as a business owner one may be asked to do or create something that is not on brand with the business’ true vision. “It is okay to say ‘no thank you’ to those suggestions and continue to grow and evolve in the direction you choose,” Uchtenhagen said.

“As with any business, there are ups and downs, but you work through them and push forward with the hope of accomplishing what you set out to do.”

Earth Bitez are available at several locations in Charlottetown, including Pure Spa/Modo Yoga,Grab and Go, Riverview Country Market, both Juice Co. locations, and bar1911. As well, they can also be purchased at Samuel’s Coffee House in Summerside.

About Brenlee Brothers

Brenlee is an earthy Islander who loves beauty, and the smell of salt water on the wind. As a seeker, she loves to learn and explore new places; all the while, finding comfort in a slow, simple life. A lover of house plants, herbs and getting her hands dirty; whether it be in the earth, or by sculpting clay, she is constantly discovering new passions as she delves deeper into her Self. Heart based, and community minded, while drinking the sweet nectar of solitude. Brenlee has kept a journal since she was a child, and as a graduate of Holland College Journalism she is grateful to practice the art of storytelling through her writings in Salty.

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