After hearing clients complain about not having time to eat a healthy breakfast, dietician Zoey Li started recommending overnight oats as an easy solution. The meal-prepped breakfast option became so popular among her clients that Li decided to create an overnight oats product of her own to help more people start their mornings right. So, Yumi Organics was born. 

Born from a need for speed

Li’s clients were often skipping breakfast altogether because they couldn’t find a healthy option that was quick enough to prepare. 

“I’m a dietitian and often my clients really struggle with breakfast and preparing something healthy during the morning rush,” says Li. “It’s a real problem because breakfast sets the tone for a great start to the rest of the day!”

As an answer to this problem, Yumi Organics provides customers with a pouch of oats, fruit, and other natural and organic ingredients to be mixed with milk and set in the fridge overnight for a grab-and-go breakfast the next morning.

“It’s perfect for anyone who wants to create a healthy new habit and start their day off with a yummy breakfast ready-to-go,” says Li. “Our products are able to be meal-prepped and last 5 days in the fridge after preparation. They’re made to really streamline the day and allow everyone to start the day on the right foot!”

Growing from ecommerce into retail

While many brands have been migrating to ecommerce platforms recently, Yumi Organics relaunched their previously exclusive online brand last year so their products can be sold in brick-and-mortar stores as well. 

“It’s been absolutely a crazy but fun journey,” says Li. “We rebranded our products from just an ecommerce business to be able to be sold in retail stores across Canada too. A lot of learning throughout this process and a lot of great memories.”

Focusing on their retail endeavours doesn’t mean they’re neglecting their online store though. In fact, their ecommerce business helped Yumi Organics continue their relationships with their customers through tricky times.

“Our shopify store really made a difference during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Li. “It became a great asset and we were able to service clients across Canada.”

A theme that grows with them

Yumi Organics is using Out of the Sandbox’s Turbo theme in their Shopify store because, according to Li, it’s easy to customize and it’s able to support a growing product line.

“Since we started our new rebrand, we decided to really invest in an easy-to-use and versatile theme,” says Li. “Out of the Sandbox was recommended to us by another food company. Love how easy it is to build a store, definitely saved money on asking developers to make customizations for us.”

It's these clever customizations that won Yumi Organics the Outstanding Shop Award for best food and drink online store. 

Want to start an online store? 

Li encourages fellow entrepreneurs to go for it when it comes to starting an ecommerce business.

“It’s the way to go! It’s a great sales channel where your cash flow is as lean as possible, when compared to B2B businesses, and its success can be used to drive B2B partnerships as well,” says Li. “It’s often hard to have so much control over a sales channel, and an online store offers you that confidence over your sales.”

She advises to prioritize getting reviews from customers as a great way to generate buzz and build trust.

“Reviews are so important! Make sure you have a solid back funnel to have customers leave good reviews,” says Li. “It’s also super encouraging and motivating to read them when you go through one of those bad days at work.”

See all the Outstanding Shop Awards winners right here!