Let me ask you something. When was the last time you ate a bunch of bite-sized treats without saying to yourself I need to go to the gym tomorrow!? Since forever, right? For those who can’t resist reaching for a donut, cookie, or any type of preservative-filled sweets, we have something new for you: Bonbites! With Bonbites’ energy balls, you can enjoy a nutritious and delicious snack without forcing yourself to spend 30 minutes on the treadmill the next day. We chatted with founder Bonnie about her Bonbites energy ball snacks.
Why did you start BonBites?
I came up with Bonbites because my husband wanted to eat healthy snacks at the office to curb that 3:00pm crash. He was tired of processed foods and energy bars that were hard and tasted chalky. So after experimenting with some of his favourite food combinations at home (nuts and dried berries), I came up with Bonbites energy balls, so he could have satisfying snacks through out the day.
What has the response been like so far?
The response has been overwhelmingly positive. My target market is professionals on the go who are looking for a healthy and nutritious, all natural snack, and don’t have the time to make it themselves. They want all the nutrition, but also all of the flavour. Once they have a taste of even one energy ball, they become addicted to the soft texture, and the unique flavour combinations, and they always come back for more!
What’s your food philosophy in one sentence?
Eat as much as you want, whenever you want, so long as it’s good quality!
How do you describe your energy balls in one sentence?
A guilt-free, satisfying, healthy ball of natural goodness.
What is your favorite ingredient to work with and why?
My favourite ingredient to work with are nuts. They chop well; they’re not messy because they don’t crumble very easily; and there are so many terrific nut combinations that add extra zing to anything you eat!
Which three people would you love to taste your energy balls?
- Gaelen Weston, so that he could approve Bonbites for Loblaws. Hahaha)
- Caroline Aksich and/or Mark Pupo of Toronto Life magazine, so they can add me to their “list” of food recommendations.
- Susur Lee. He is my idol in the food world. A true creative food genius/restaurant guru, who appreciates unique food combinations!
What’s been the hardest thing about starting a food business?
The hardest challenge about starting a food business is juggling many different jobs simultaneously: sourcing kitchen space and ingredients, production, packaging/labeling, quality assurance, sales, and customer satisfaction. Trying to maintain production and quality, while keeping costs within reason, and still delivering a good end product, take a lot of time and energy. Thankfully I have some reliable staff and a supportive family to help me with these struggles!
What’s next for BonBites?
What’s next for Bonbites is landing larger, national retailers. I’m slowly expanding from local Toronto retailers, to retailers across the province. Eventually, I would like to expand across Canada. Once this is well underway, I will have more time to test more flavours. Stay tuned!
Recipe: Bonbites’ Cranberry Chocolate Coconut Energy Balls
1. Place in a food processor:
- 1 cup of chopped and pitted medjool dates
- 1/2 cup of honey
- 1/4 cup of ground flax
2. Once dates, honey and flax have turned into a paste, place the mixture into a large bowl and add:
- 1/2 cup of finely chopped raw almonds
- 1/2 cup of finely chopped raw cashews
- 1 1/2 cups of dried oats
- 2/3 cup of dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup of dark mini chocolate chips
3. Mix them all together. Place in a covered container and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
4. Remove them from the fridge and roll into 1.5 inch diameter balls. Roll each ball into unsweetened, shredded fine coconut (3/4 of a cup)