Monday August 12th, 2019, 3:38 PM
Patricia Canales, founder of Solfish, talks to us today about the creation of her company, her passions and her projects. His seafood import business has a history and we want to share it with you.
Hello, Patricia Canales, can you tell us about your company?
My company is a company specialized in importing fish and seafood from South America. I started 7 years ago and decided to open the company when my father died. In Peru I grew up in the fish business. We have a family company in Peru, which is the largest in the local market.We had a lot of contact across the Pacific coast so when I came to Canada, I thought it would be an opportunity to introduce new products. I was often looking for products that I couldn't find here at the time, 10 years ago. For me it is very important to offer more natural products. Sometimes we find products in the markets that have treatments, with antibiotics, it's really more natural for me. And we have just finalized a project to this end. This is a project that will have a very positive impact on the environment. We'll launch it in two months. We are also working on a project where consumers will have direct access to our products, educational articles on health benefits, and recipes. And we continue to develop products in the Canadian market.
Tell us about your products ?
All our products have traceability from A to Z, from fishing to processing to freezing to exporting, once in Canada we work with a certified warehouse and an extraordinary external company that offers me their delivery services. We started with products from South America and are open to natural products in countries where fishing and certification are a guarantee of good practice.Currently, our products originating from South America are available in the Quebec market under the brand "Les soleil du Sud". We are present in supermarkets in Quebec, delicatessens, specialized fish shops and in the Food services sectors. My company is specialized in fish for the moment because I love new things, and developing projects is my passion. For me it's the passion for the land and the passion for the sea, we call it Pachamama, which means Pacha: Earth and Mama: mother. Mother Earth is recognized in South America as the ultimate being at the centre of everything. This culture honours the land and the mother and our products follow this principle.
Where did you get this concept from?
I grew up in the food industry (meat, fish), a family business. But I also had a click when my father died his dream was that one where all 8 children take care of the company, I was far away in Canada and at that time I told myself wow I really have something, I have knowledge so why not start a business and make discover exotic flavors by offering novelties that are good for health, with the son of a short time I realized that developing novelties was a passion. So everything that is new I love. (laughs)
How did you experience the change from employee to company manager?
I worked for the Canadian government. It was six months of work. At the same time I was doing research. I had to walk in all the streets such as Saint Laurent or Saint Denis to understand what the market was, what were the best times to sell, the high season, low season....Change has been a lot of work. At the beginning it was very difficult, I remember that it was hard because when you knocked on doors, it was never the right timings, customers already had products, so knowing the market was very long.
Why coworking rather than another type of office?
I started by working at home for 5 years. When my accountant, who is an external, told me that there were coworkings, I thought why not. It was really interesting to be surrounded by entrepreneurs because it's stimulating, sharing, networking... I love having my space, talking with people, being in the community and growing with others is really satisfying.Have you collaborated with other members?Yes I found two people who collaborate with my company, Valérie who helped me in all aspects of development, research and documentation and, I also had an e-commerce collaboration with Laurence. I have a lot of projects in mind and I realize that here there are several people who can participate.
Do you have any advice for people who want to start an entrepreneurship?
I think the important thing is to find your passion and go for it. Because it's not easy. Sometimes I realize that entrepreneurs are passionate but they don't succeed because they are not well enough supported. It is really important to have a good environment to be able to succeed.
See you soon at Halte 24-7!