Fresh off the sale of their own company, Campbell River entrepreneurs Marion and Bernard Eberlein wanted to break away from the small-business model and instead do something meaningful. So the pair started their own brand – a brand that supports children’s charities and provides consumers with a healthy, all-natural product that is produced close to home.
Thank You Products is a line of organic matcha and loose leaf teas, organic coffee, natural spring bottled water, and hand-crafted soaps. All the products are fair-trade and produced in Canada. The bottled water, for example, is spring water produced by a family company in the Kootenays. “We see Thank You Products as a brand, a brand that stands for 100 per cent giving,” Marion says. “It’s a new brand that stands for a good cause. What makes the company unique is that it’s not-for-profit and all of the proceeds go to five different children’s charities – the Help Fill a Dream Foundation in Victoria, the B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, the Nicaragua Children’s Foundation based in Vancouver, the Mary A. Tidlund Foundation based out of Alberta and the Vitamin Angels, which operates worldwide.”
The Eberlein’s connection to the Nicaragua charity stems from Bernard’s days as a pilot for the United Nations when the Eberleins were living in Germany, where they’re originally from. “I was inspired by my job in the United Nations,” Bernard says. I did a lot of work where we were bringing food and essentials to local villages. In the UN I was based in Honduras and Nicaragua is close to Honduras so we did a lot of humanitarian work in Nicaragua. This is where the inspiration came from and we hope to get it back in our lives.”
After emigrating to Canada from Germany in 1996, the Eberleins settled on Quadra Island where the wilderness enthusiasts could be closer to nature. Both were always self-employed and had a background in business so they opened their own tourism resort, Coastal Spirits Sea Kayaks and Lodge. After selling the lodge in 2012, the Eberleins, who have two children – ages 17 and 8 – were at a crossroads. They made the decision to move to Campbell River and just this past September, established Thank You Products. “We didn’t want to do the small business model again and we wanted to do something purposeful,” Marion says. And, Bernard points out, the products are a win-win for everyone.
“This is a benefit for everyone involved,” Bernard says. “It’s a benefit for the children’s charities, it’s a benefit for the customer who is doing something good and getting a good product.” Bernard says the goal with Thank You Products is to get enough exposure and get their product into enough stores, gyms, restaurants, and hotels that the company will become a sustainable funding source that the five children’s charities can count on on a regular basis.
In only two months of operation, the Eberleins made $1,021 off the sales of their products which was split evenly between the five charities in November. Bernard says right now he and his wife are working on getting the bottled water into hotels. He says hoteliers who put bottled water in their guest rooms like it because the label says Thank You on it. “We are expanding into hotels and resorts, so the plan is, the more we sell, the more money we have to give away,” Bernard says. “The whole concept is, you need your teas, you need your water, you need your coffee. Instead of putting money into a large corporation – and who knows what they’re doing with it – you’re putting your money into something that has meaning.”
Thank You Products are currently sold in Campbell River at Healthyway Natural Foods Market, Discovery Foods, Willows Market, Willow Point bakery, several sports facilities, and Jeanie’s Vitamin Store. Thank You Products can also be found in the Comox Valley at Jeanie’s Vitamin Centre and Runges Delicatessen and on Quadra Island at Tru Value Foods. The products can also be purchased on Thank You Products’ website, www.thankyou-products.com Thank You Products is also on Facebook and Twitter.