Abeego: Handcrafted Natural Food Storage

Some of the best inventions take a long time to perfect. And some of the finest products are made from natures yield. We begin then, with Toni Desrosier’s journey to construct a functional alternative to food storage (a.k.a plastic wrap) and her subsequent invention of Abeego. All I can say about these 100% Canadian handmade, plastic-free, all-natural, re-useable, compostable food wraps is: it’s about time!

Early in 2008, before launching Abeego, Toni began researching how the ancient cultures preserved foodstuffs. Though, to her surprise, there was very little documentation on the subject. The older generations couldn’t seem to recall much before the days of wax paper. The main question: “what does food actually need to stay fresh and alive?” One common thread Toni discovered was that out of all the resources used throughout time; (banana leaves, bark, baskets, grasses, leaves etc.), was that they were all breathable materials.

Hand stamped Abeego flats

Toni wanted “a natural solution to a natural problem” (as her product has been labeled), whereas the answer seemed simple enough; use eco friendly, breathable, natural materials, which by Abeego was created. Sold in packs of 3 (1 large, 1 medium and 1 small) they are handmade in Victoria, BC from: Hemp, Cotton, Beeswax, Tree Resin and Jojoba Oil.

The flats are easily malleable at room temperature, and will form tightly around items simply from the warmth of your hands. They will stiffen when cool, holding the shape you created and maintain maximum freshness. You can form the flats to fit around anything from cheese and produce to baked goods to plates and bowls.

Toni, Colin and baby Parker-the Abeego Family

To maximize the use of your Abeego flats and to ensure that they last over a year, there are a few key things to keep in mind:

 

– Hand-wash Abeego flat like a plate, in cold water with eco-friendly soap.

– They are not suitable for dishwashers, microwave ovens, or direct heat.

 

Despite the fact that it’s really a smart product, why has it taken so long to see this kind of thing on the market? “Plastic wrap, like any household staple, has become habitual in use,” says Toni. “Our mothers taught us to use it and so we did. But just like the original plastic cling, nobody wanted it. It just sat on the shelves for years. Now look how many brands there are.”

In other words, beyond great innovation, getting a product to market and having it gain market value is another matter all together.

As David Hoffer of Design Mind writes:

“…It’s mainly about culture. Humans are by nature habitual animals, and it takes a lot to move us off of our habits. Technology may be advancing quickly, but that doesn’t mean humans have the interest or the aptitude to adopt it right away.”

Beeswax Bundles

Just as Toni has made the conscious decision not to paten her product, she isn’t trying to eliminate plastic wrap either. “We’re not anti-plastic, we’re pro-Abeego” says Toni. “It’s an important transition and we believe it should be shared. If others are making plastic-free alternatives for food storage, then at least they’re talking about it and bringing awareness.”

Toni and her Abeego team, which include up to four employees and her husband Colin, are proud to be a zero-waste manufacturing company. They turn excess strips into multi-functional Abeebits. Check out their Facebook page to see how others are using their Abeebits.

 

We’d like to also officially congratulate Toni for taking 2nd place for the 2014, BDC Young Entrepreneur Award and receiving $25,000 in consulting fees. Well done!

With more than 200 locations across Canada and the U.S. you can expect to see Abeego a lot more in the near future.

 

Toni Desrosiers (owner)

Abeego Designs Inc.

Toll Free: 1.855.522.3346

Local: 250.590.2410

#303-2614 Bridge Street,

Victoria BC

V8T 4S9

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Written By:

Holly Brooke is a true B.C. gal. Having lived on the west coast most of her life, except for several years in the Kootenay's where she canoed and fished and lived in a tipi, she's very much at home outdoors and in the kitchen. ...

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