Suzie Yorke of The Better Chocolates
A mom, eleven-time Ironman competitor and yoga enthusiast, Suzie Yorke spent years adhering to a low-fat diet only to hit a wall in her mid-40s. After reading Nina Teicholz’s best seller, The Big Fat Surprise, she immediately shifted to a high-fat, low-carb diet, and felt better right away. While she loved the benefits of her new lifestyle, Suzie found it challenging to find convenient, good-fat snacks. Seeing a gap in the marketplace and a huge opportunity to help others through food, Suzie developed a company that produces high-fat, low-carb, and low-sugar products. She is recognized for founding one of North America’s fastest-growing food brands, ranking as Canada’s Top Growing Company in 2021 by Report on Business, and she has just recently launched her second brand, at age 55, The FourX Better Chocolate.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FOURX BETTER CHOCOLATES
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The Mission Behind Suzie’s Work
The FourX Better Chocolate™ is a fairly new, Canadian, premium chocolate company founded by two health and wellness executives, Suzie Yorke and Alejandro Castillo, who partnered with a mission to make the healthiest and most delicious chocolates on the market. The brand boasts two product lines, each a World’s First:
• a line of Vitamins & Supplements in a delicious pure chocolate bite;
• a line of Functional Chocolate also in a delicious pure chocolate bite
All products are PURE dark chocolate bites with a creamy milk chocolate centre. The cacao is Fine Aroma Cacao™ from small NGO farms in the heart of Ecuador. Only a few clean ingredients are used, no alkali to preserve antioxidants, and there is 0g of sugar added, so they are clean and keto friendly. They are infused with Feel-Good Adaptogens™ and provide higher absorption given the added good fats (MCT oil) and piperine. Cacao beans are sourced from Ecuador, so they are Single origin, Bean-to-Bar, Fair Trade beans, and, therefore, they have the best flavour in the world. The growing conditions are unique, as the flavour and aroma from the surrounding aromatic fields of fruit and flowers infuse the beans as they grow. This ensures the delicate and delicious aromas are preserved inside the beans.
Susie’s Insights to Entrepreneurship
Was there a time in your life you knew you were capable of more, or destined for more?
Since the time I was about ten I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur and run my own company. However, I never felt comfortable or experienced enough so I played it safe working for multinational companies until, finally at age 50, I took the plunge! Although I always felt the calling to be an entrepreneur, and knew I could do hard things (I’m an eleven time Ironman competitor), it’s a scary thing going from a steady pay check to investing your life savings into a dream. That said, it was something I knew I was destined to do and I am happy every single day that I took the plunge because being an entrepreneur is my destiny!
What challenges have you overcome in your life, and what did you learn about yourself in the process?
I am a lesbian woman on the spectrum, so there are a great deal of things I’ve had to overcome in my life. One of the hardest was sitting across the table from the typical white, corporate male asking for funding. We didn’t relate to each other on any personal level and because of that they weren’t able to fully “see” my business and what I could offer. I was turned down several times or offered terms that were truly unacceptable. Women in Canada currently receive 4% of all funding, so it’s a challenge for us all.
I’ve been working really hard to change that statistic and it’s great to see a lot of corporations, as well as individual men and women, are working towards the same goal! Seeing things change, not just in my lifetime, but in the last five years, has been fantastic. We obviously have a very long way to go but I am very encouraged by the change I see. I think having to go through this experience has taught me about perseverance, a theme I’ve dealt with my entire life. I found a lot of things challenging in my life (that said, things other people found hard came easily to me), but I’ve never been one to give up. I feel good about all I’ve achieved in my life and plan to keep working towards helping others and changing some current statistics.
What is your why? How do you ensure you are living your life “on purpose” as much as possible?
I quickly realized that owning my own brand gave me a large platform and also a large responsibility where my values could come to life and I could help make a difference in this world. Not only would I be bringing better for you snacks to the marketplace, but I would also have the ability to build a company and culture that reflected my core values. A lot of companies talk about inclusion and social reform, but I now had the ability to bring that talk to life, so I did! I built a company that at its peak (before the pandemic hit) had a staff of 42 with a lot of diversity. I put together the best team possible that was incredibly diverse with 27% LGBT staff members, 50% BIPOC and/or first generation immigrant staff members and 40% women. As a proud LGBQT+ woman, it was important for me to ensure I fostered an environment and team this super inclusive and with as many members as possible from the LGBQT+ community.
My new company follows the same path. I offer consumers a brand that gives them a healthier, but delicious tasting product, while at the same time I am ensuring that the company itself reflects my values. Both of these are contributing, just a little bit, to making the world a better place.
Where do you see yourself and/or your life in the next year? What do you hope to see in the world and/or hope to accomplish?
The goal next year is to have The Better Chocolates in stores across Canada and the US! I want to walk into both major retailers and natural food stores and see my brand on the shelves; our first production will be ready to ship mid-December, so 2023 will be all about getting on shelves! I’d love to see my new company grow so that I can continue to create a diverse culture. I’d also love to be able to create another incredible event like our Pride event “Love is Love” and support both LGBTQ+ and women (and doggies!).
What advice can you give to other women around life, family, work, and self-care?
- Just start – there is never going to be a “right time”. You will always have doubts, life events, money issues and a million other reasons not to start your business. So if you truly want to do it, just start!
- Set a goal – without a goal, it’s hard to accomplish something, especially when things get hard.
- Start with ONE step – don’t think about the long race, it’s way too unnerving. Just take it one day at a time.
- It’s a journey – not a destination. I truly believe life is a journey no matter if you are starting your own business, training for a marathon, making travel plans or any other goals you may have.
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