On Getting Her Product Into Over 1 Million Kitchens Worldwide

Published: March 21st, 2022
Toni Desrosiers
Founder, Abeego
from Victoria
started January 2008
market size
starting costs
gross margin
time to build
210 days
growth channels
Organic social media
best tools
Twitter, Instagram, ShipStation
time investment
Full time
pros & cons
35 Pros & Cons
2 Tips
Discover what tools Toni recommends to grow your business!
customer service
social media
Discover what books Toni recommends to grow your business!
Want more updates on Abeego? Check out these stories:

My name is Toni Desrosiers and I am the Founder of Abeego beeswax food wrap - the reusable food wrap that mimics the intrinsic qualities of nature’s skins, peels, and rinds to extend the life of food for what feels like forever.

In my mission to Keep Food Alive in pursuit of food for all, I invented beeswax food wrap in 2008 and disrupted the billion-dollar plastic wrap industry in the process. Now, beeswax food wrap is a worldwide trend and helps kitchens around the globe reduce food waste, one wrap at a time.


What's your backstory and how did you get into entrepreneurship?

Since my first lawn care business at age 10, I have been driven to become an entrepreneur so I could positively impact the community. Before Abeego, I worked as a holistic nutritionist. I noticed that the airtight & transparent plastic I was using to wrap my food was completely contradictory to the breathable & protective way nature wraps & preserves food. My nutritionist knowledge around the way food lives and behaves allowed me to design a food wrap that lets food breathe, protects it from air, light, and moisture, and could be reused time and again. These innovative & nature-inspired properties are what make Abeego the food-saving, plastic-free, & all-natural food wrap that it is today.

Do something, especially when you can't do everything. I learned early that I simply can’t do everything, not right away. Instead of giving up, I use that sense of urgency to drive me forward.

Abeego was born ahead of its time. In the early days, I was scoffed at by skeptic market-goers. Even I was a skeptic, but time and time again, Abeego saved food. It was only a matter of time before the community caught on to this environmentally-safe way to extend the life of food and save money and time in the process. As the fear of plastic waste and BPA grew, it became easier for me to naturally build up a community of loyal customers who passed on Abeego’s food-saving abilities via word of mouth. Before I knew it, I had a studio, a team, and was being featured in the media for my invention.

In 2016, I appeared on Dragon’s Den to pitch my idea in front of the Dragons. Our feature on the show ended up contributing to the doubling of our revenue and people who knew what the heck Abeego was! It went flying off the shelves.

Since then, Abeego has continued to grow and evolve leaps and bounds in all avenues of its existence.


Take us through your entrepreneurial journey. How did you go from day 1 to today?

During my time working as a holistic nutritionist in a health food store, I noticed people were freaking out about BPA. So, Abeego started as an act of defiance. I believed that something as natural as preserving our food would have a nature made solution. Seriously, humans have been storing food since the beginning of time. I started to research past food storage methods and as you can imagine they weren’t as convenient as pulling out a box of plastic wrap. I decided to create a product to fit modern-day demands and mimic how nature would wrap food.

I set some ground rules. Each ingredient selected had to be all-natural and in its natural state. It had to be entirely plastic-free. Everything had to be edible, have natural preservative qualities and be approved by the FDA for food contact.

I visited museums and libraries. I poured over books that shared stories of the past; I watched movies set before plastic was invented and studied lemon peels. I’d go back to my kitchen and experiment, but my research needed a human touch. So I reached out to elders, and quickly learned their stories because when it comes to keeping food fresh, people treat it more like an art than a science. I heard stories of trips into the dark, cold cellar or canning the summer harvest and it pushed me to dig deeper. Every person I interacted with helped shape Abeego and the experiential richness of their stories was inspiring. Listening to people and building relationships with them is what drove home the point that food is at the core of culture and human connection.

It’s these stories that have shaped Abeego into the holistic brand it is today. We manufacture beeswax food wrap, yes, but our Keep Food Alive Manifesto lets us reciprocally share with the community what it means to embrace a living, breathing kitchen.


How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Today, we operate, manufacture, sell, market, and ship Abeego in our studio based in Victoria, BC, Canada. Abeego is now profitable, in close to a million kitchens worldwide, and has built a loyal and returning customer base.

The learning curve is steep and easier to climb when surrounded by people that help you grow.

As of late, we have achieved a three-year combined average growth rate of 93.2%. We have exciting upcoming plans to make beeswax wrap more accessible to our B2C community and will also allow our B2B community to easily adopt Abeego onto their shelves and efficiently move through product.

We’re obsessed with perfecting the customer journey and closely follow data from web traffic, email newsletter open and conversion rates, and social media following growth to improve the voyage from skeptic to advocate. We use a variety of digital ad channels such as Google, Facebook, Pinterest and focus heavily on growing and nurturing our email newsletter list as it proves to be a warm, consistent and engaged audience.

In the next five years, we’ll see Abeego in 7.7 million households worldwide, and in the next 25 years, we’ll be the tool that helps people understand their food more intimately and redefine what it means to keep food fresh versus what keeps food alive. People won’t ask if their food is fresh; they’ll ask if it’s alive.


Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

The lessons offered from living the daily life of an entrepreneur are endless and constant. That being said, there are a few that have really stood out to me and helped me grow and thrive as a business owner and thought leader:

  1. I’m not “distracted”. I’m a visionary and my unique entrepreneurial thinking style is valuable. We do things the Abeego way, and that makes us stand out in the best ways possible.
  2. The learning curve is steep and easier to climb when surrounded by people that help you grow.
  3. You can’t do everything. Focus your mission an inch wide and a mile deep.
  4. On the entrepreneurial journey, friends and family are there to protect you rather than offer harsh (yet necessary) advice that pushes you to take imperative risks. So listen to friends & family, but always seek opinions from other objective entrepreneurs to build the most wholesome and resilient business possible.


What platform/tools do you use for your business?

We operate our ecommerce store on Shopify. Having a seamless and user-friendly purchasing journey is of the utmost importance, and has only become more so since the shift in consumer behaviour caused by the global pandemic. As far as apps, to name a few, we use Stamped to collect customers reviews, Orderly to customize transactional emails, HelpScout to holistically provide exceptional customer service, and Stockist Store Locator to help our customers find an Abeego retailer near them.

We operate our email newsletter through Klaviyo. It allows us to A/B test, create hyper-specific segments, and build out our list through a variety of channels. We utilize Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn for social media, with Instagram and Facebook having our largest and most engaged following.

Other tools we use include Asana for team meetings and project planning, Canva for graphic design, Iconosquare for social scheduling and analytics, ShipStation for efficient shipping & fulfillment, Survicate for customer feedback, and Clearscope for SEO and content creation.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

As an entrepreneur, I cannot recommend Simon Sinek’s book enough. Once Abeego polished our core why every decision became so much easier to make.

If it doesn’t contribute to our why both logically and inspirationally, we drop it. No questions asked.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Here are my top 5 tips of advice for entrepreneurs starting out:

  1. Do something, especially when you can't do everything. I learned early that I simply can’t do everything, not right away. Instead of giving up, I use that sense of urgency to drive me forward. As a sustainable company, Abeego does good work. We’re not perfect so it's important to recognize that sustainability has no end, rather it's a journey with many improvements along the way. Do good, and do better.
  2. Take care of yourself. It’s easy to sacrifice parts of your life that make you feel whole. Engage in activities that fill your cup and you’ll be able to bring your best to the table.
  3. Don’t think outside the box. Build a box, set the rules, and then be wildly creative inside your intentional box.
  4. Don’t study the model you are trying to disrupt too closely. You might unknowingly incorporate the same problems into your new idea.
  5. Identify your unique thinking style , embrace it, and then find the person/people who help you see the entire picture.
  6. BONUS TIP: Go for it. There is no future without great ideas and those who are brave enough to bring them into the world.


Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

We are currently looking for a Fulfillment Coordinator! This person is the flight controller at Abeego. They hold the customer experience from the moment an order is placed until it arrives at their door ensuring their package on time and to order specification.

Abeego proudly offers a living wage to all employees as well as benefits, regularly-catered team lunches, support for professional development and more.


Where can we go to learn more?

Want to start a reusable alternatives? Learn more ➜