It’s tough to figure out what you should and shouldn’t be eating these days. Daily diet fads, weight tips and meal tricks are a constant bombardment. Gluten, sugar, carbs, fat – are they good, bad or a little bit of both? For Epicure chief executive officer Amelia Warren, thinking critically about food started with an obvious teacher: her mom, Sylvie Rochette. In 1997 Rochette founded Epicure as a way to educate herself about what she was feeding her family. Warren said the idea was pretty simple, and remains so.
“We believe healthy food needs to be delicious if people are going to eat well,” said Warren, who now oversees Epicure’s operations. “It needs to be delicious and wholesome and nourishing. It’s more about having the knowledge and the access to the ingredients to make sure the healthy food you’re eating is delicious too.”
Epicure offers a wide range of products from cookware to spices, plus the chance to become a “social entrepreneur” by becoming an Epicure employee and hosting cooking classes. Warren said the company has tapped into the “millennial mom market,” with about 15,000 consultants across Canada who host people in their homes and help them learn about “clean eating.”
“What we mean by that is it’s eating whole foods in a form as close to nature as possible,” she said. “Filling half your plate with veggies, limiting processed food and eliminating ultra-processed foods. So our line of herbs and spices as well as our time-saving cookwear really make it possible for people to make healthy meals – to go from raw to ready in 15 or 20 minutes.”
Warren said Epicure was also one of the first direct-sales companies to join the Non-GMO Project, a non-profit group that promotes a food supply free of genetically modified ingredients.
“It starts with the consumer’s rights to know what they’re eating,” Warren said. “So for us it’s about transparency, and quality and rigour in our sourcing practices and the quality of our ingredients.”
Birthplace: Victoria, B.C.
Where you live now: Victoria, B.C.
Highest level of education: Undergraduate studies in international development and women’s studies, plus an abundance of amazing educational opportunities through my involvement with YPO
Currently reading: Daring Greatly, Brene Brown; Grit to Great, Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval; A Bone to Pick, Mark Bittman
Currently listening to: Shake It Off, Taylor Swift
When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Professional world saver (yes, I was an ambitious kid – my mom has always taught me that to whom much is given, much is expected, so it’s in my DNA to give back)
Profession you would most like to try: I seriously can’t imagine doing anything other than what I’m doing now. if I had to pick: content director for TED
Toughest business or professional decision: I wish I could pick just one! It’s my job to make tough decisions, and part of why I love what I do
Advice you would give the younger you: You are only as good as your people; invest in building and hiring a great team. You can’t control everything, but what you can control is how you perceive it. So choose to be positive, and choose to fail forward and see the opportunity in the setbacks
What’s left to do: Everything! The more I learn, the more I see opportunity to do things new, different and better
Join us to celebrate the 2015 Forty under under 40 Awards January 27, 2016 at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel. For tickets and event info visit www.biv.com/events/40under40.