Coming up with an idea to make a great product is one thing. Making it a reality is another.

Jessica Sheppard and Rhaelyn Gillespie knew their idea had potential. But over the past two years, they had to contend with big competitors and prototype failures. Here’s how they went from trying to cook up a new product in their home kitchen to having their product on shelves in Sobeys.

Inspired by coffee (breath)

Back in November 2019, Sheppard and Gillespie were co-workers at Toronto-based Clearco, which provides equity-free capital to startup founders. In the fast-paced venture capital world, Sheppard and Gillespie worked long hours (as a senior investment analyst and an account director, respectively) powered by coffee after coffee. While the office had supplies of breath mints, Sheppard wanted to find something that was more effective.

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