Maple Organics founder Rosy Atwal, left, and Ashley Ward, right, receive the Surrey Board of Trade New Business of the Year award from Franklin Jackson of the new Civic Hotel. (Photo: Submitted)

‘Canada’s first organic pharmaceutical company’ based in Surrey

One of the founders grew up in Surrey

When Rosy Atwal became pregnant with her first child, she said she began looking for a line of organic care products.

But it became apparent, she said, that there weren’t any organic lines that she could find, so she decided to develop her own.

Maple Organics, which was founded by Atwal and longtime friend Ashley Ward, recently received the New Business of the Year award from the Surrey Board of Trade. The company, Atwal said, is based in Surrey.

The two, she said, went to the same business school but graduated two years apart.

“We missed each other at school, but then when we both were in Vancouver, we ran into each other at a ‘women in business’ panel and we actually became really good friends. We hit it off and had a great interaction.”

View this post on Instagram

Guess what just happened!?

A post shared by Maple Organics (@mapleorganics) on

Atwal said it was in 2009/2010, and on her own, that she started to make formulations for products, but then life got in the way.

“I started making them years ago because I was trying to develop cleaner products for my son,” she said. “Then I got pretty busy with trying to have babies, and trying to keep my day job.

“I actually worked for an organic food company at the time, so I really had a strong understanding of the benefits of organic farming, the organic produce that’s developed and how it reduces toxin overloads in your body and also how it allows more micronutrients to be delivered to your body through your skin or through your consumption of foods.”

When Atwal’s son got sick with the flu for the first time, according to Maple Organics website, “Atwal was determined to develop an effective, healthy alternative to the mainstream brands for relief of his symptoms

“Working closely with Health Canada and a chemist, she reverse engineered several mainstream topical ointments to extract the active medical ingredients. She then suspended them in an organic base,” the website reads. “As a result, we are proud to say that we are Canada’s first Organic Pharmaceutical Company.”

When the women were starting the company, Atwal said they weren’t aware Maple Organics was the country’s first organic pharmaceutical company. Maple Organics is also a USDA Organic and Health Canada approved company.

“We were just trying to provide cleaner options, and then as we started to look at our ingredients, we recognized that we were plant based,” Atwal said. “When we realized it was (the first organic pharmaceutical company in Canada), we thought, ‘Oh, we’re just basically going back to plant medicine.”

In the couple of years since starting, Atwal said she hasn’t seen another organic pharmaceutical company, but she said she doesn’t see that lasting long.

“I’m sure that they’ll come because there’s definitely a big interest from consumers to clean out their medicine cabinets.”

Maple Organics, according to a media release, had the opportunity to sell products at mass supermarkets, but instead chose to use a direct sales approach.

Atwal said the company now has hundreds of consultants across the country. She said the reason for the direct sales approach was to allow people “to be able to earn income without being stuck in a corporate 9-5 environment, where they’re commuting and rushing and kind of missing those little moments.”

“I think the biggest thing for Ashley and I, in that moment was, not only are we able to help people be healthier through our products, we are also able to make them kind of well through our income,” said Atwal, adding that it’s “really a holistic approach for wellness.”

Atwal said it was an “incredible feeling” to receive the award with Ward by her side.

“We had this big dream of creating these opportunities for men and women to start their own businesses selling our products and we did it in a way that would empower families to create a life of choice, one that was steeped in whichever family traditions they wanted.”



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

READ ALSO: Winners of 2018 Surrey International Trade Awards revealed

READ ALSO: Surrey Board of Trade announces 2018 environment, business award winners

READ ALSO: Surrey Business Excellence Awards nominees named

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

OBITUARY: Sherrold Haddad brought giant Canadian flag to Surrey car dealership, built community

‘An amazing man, business person and community leader,’ friend Bruce Hayne posted to Facebook

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and beyond

MARCH 28: Delta council passes bylaw to fine people who don’t socially distance

White Rock council members stand by decision to close pier

Minimal push-back over closure to minimize chance of spreading COVID-19 virus

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Most Read