Meet Allisha Heidt, the owner of Chickpeace Zero Waste Refillery. Having a constant passion for the environment and empowering others to make better choices, Allisha moved to BC from Ontario to pursue postgraduate studies in sustainability planning. After several years working in corporate sustainability she made the choice to venture into the world of entrepreneurship and opened MotherLove Kombucha, Kelowna’s first kombucha brewery. She describes the experience as enriching and having taught her a lot. And when that chapter was complete, she followed her heart to marry her passion for sustainability with her love of small business—and so Chickpeace was born. Allisha’s goal is to meaningfully impact our community by creating a space that would support plastic free living and provide education and awareness resources to help individuals make better choices.
Can you describe what an experience in the refillery is like amidst a pandemic?
The refillery experience is even more meaningful during the pandemic. We are hearing so much gratitude from our community about how happy they are to be able to shop consciously and reduce their plastic consumption when so many other options have been removed because of Covid. We limit the number of customers in-store for safety reasons but the silver lining is it allows us to have better connections, learn about who our customers really are, and what motivates them to shop at Chickpeace.
How does your company mission support your community?
This business is for the community; our goal is to provide affordable and accessible options for living plastic free. We wanted to remove a lot of the barriers associated with zero waste such as it being too expensive or too time consuming. And so, we have tirelessly found as many ways as possible to bring zero waste to everyone’s doorstep without having to break the bank. In addition, I built this business with a community kitchen in the back of the refillery knowing first-hand about the gap in our community for food-based businesses to produce and scale.
What are some breakthroughs and challenges you’ve had with developing your passions into a business?
One of the biggest breakthroughs I’ve had is acknowledging that I am capable of achieving anything as long as I put my mind to it. There are so many naysayers out there who do not necessarily see your vision. And that’s ok. There’s always challenges in anything you set out to do, I think it’s how you deal with them that counts. Self-care and self-love have been huge for me on this journey. I’m ok with being imperfect, making mistakes and giving myself grace when I need it the most.
Does practicing gratitude have an impact on your business?
Gratitude is the secret to success. I am grateful for all the good times, the successes and the support. But I am most grateful for the difficulties and the tough moments because they are an opportunity to learn, grow and be better.
Why do you feel people need to pay attention and care more about zero waste living?
Zero waste living isn’t just about reducing plastic, it’s the intention behind the choices you make. Whether it’s zero waste or anything else, the same energy represents how you want to show up for yourself, your loved ones, and your community.
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Do you have any tips or advice for people who are wanting to integrate zero waste living into their life but are unsure how to start?
Even small steps are steps in the right direction. Every action has an impact so forget about doing it all and focus on doing something. Choose one thing and do it well. Consume consciously and ask the difficult questions about the products you purchase, how and where they are made and the conditions for those who make them. Knowledge is power and the more we learn the better choices we are able make.