(CA) Creating healthy identity
- A yoga-practising vegan, Marie-Josee Richer felt a bit like a fish out
of water in her native Quebec.
But she found kindred spirits during her extensive travels in Asia.
During a three-year stay in India, Richer opened a vegan restaurant in
the Goa region, a popular tourist destination. The eatery connected
instantly with clients.
Few North Americans follow a vegan diet, which entails swearing off
all animal products. But organic foods and healthy eating are gaining
momentum. Richer saw an opening in that trend.
On her return to Quebec, she and two fellow travellers launched Prana,
a fledgling Montreal company making vegan, organic snacks and other
"We wanted it to be made with thought, with prana," Richer explained.
(Prana comes from the Sanskrit word for "breath," but in Eastern
philosophies and in yoga, it more broadly refers to the life force in
living beings and natural processes.)
The partners behind Prana also wanted their products to be made with
There would be no skimping, even on costly items.
Finally, Prana products would be both vegan and organic, but the
company would target the larger market of health-conscious consumers.
"We can't just target (vegans), because the market is too small," Richer said.
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