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

Delta launches online engagement portal

“Let’s Talk Delta” offers variety of feedback methods including surveys, polls, forums and Q&A boards

Story of ‘A Mother’s Journey to Adoption’ told in book by first-time Surrey author

In the 1990s, Raj Arneja and husband Gurpreet adopted two children in India

Heritage rail to remain closed for both July and August

Fraser Valley Heritage Rail Society may open Cloverdale Station in September

Surrey council to consider a $150 FOI fee for attendance requests at city facilities

This is expected to come before council during tonight’s council meeting, on Monday July 13.

Proposed White Rock development a ‘nightmare’ for Elm Street neighbours

Density, traffic, loss of views among chief concerns of residents

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

COVID-19 exposure on Vancouver flight

The Air Canada 8421 flight travelled from Kelowna to Vancouver on July 6

Double homicide investigation leads Vancouver police to Chilliwack

A VPD forensics unit was in Chilliwack Saturday collecting evidence connected to East Van murders

VIDEO: Former Abbotsford resident giving away $1,000

Langley native Alex Johnson creates elaborate treasure hunt to give away cash

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

UPDATE: Abbotsford shooting victim was alleged ‘crime boss,’ according to court documents

Jazzy Sran, 43, was believed to have been smuggling cocaine across the border

Most Read