The pandemic threw many things out of alignment for many people, it threatened livelihoods and wrought chaos on peoples’ lives. It sometimes also provided opportunity too.
Aneta and Michaela, both hailing from Slovakia, had years of durable friendship behind them before making their move to Vancouver. Having both secured their permanent residency they had lived in the city for only a few months when confronted with the stark reality of a global pandemic. They both lived separately from one another and shared a wariness of the virus, also feeling the effects of the small-circle social guidelines. It wasn’t long before they moved in together. Faced with severely reduced hours in their hospitality jobs, they faced a crossroads in their careers too. A pull back to European shores was ever present but perseverance and sheer will meant they would stay on and succeed.
During this time they had begun to produce, for themselves, a ginger extract juice; a shot of immunity boosting goodness made from ginger root, honey and lemon, mainly as a direct response to the pandemic. The recipe being a commonplace antidote in Slovakian culture, serving immunity but also a range of digestion issues, circulation and body-temperature control. They were soon coaxed into sharing their creation with friends, who enjoyed it so much they in turn cajoled them into sharing it with the wider public. The shots received so much interest it sparked in them both an opportunity which they grasped, creating Nectaro.
Wellness and active lifestyles sit high amongst Aneta and Michaela’s priorities, so going into business selling health boosting drinks only felt natural for the bubbly dynamic-duo. The range of shots now encompasses recipe’s of pineapple, orange and turmeric. They’ve also grown to include ginger tea and ginger powders. The business has clearly made huge bounds since its 2020 beginnings, all of which is built on the back of farmers’ market exposure.
Farmers’ Markets Integral In Hatching Their Concept & Present Operations
As soon as they went into production in earnest they secured booths at notable Vancouver Farmers’ Markets. To date they’ve featured at the Downtown Market, Trout Lake, Riley Park, False Creek and the PNE-Hastings Park markets. This is alongside markets in metro Vancouver and as far north as Whistler. It’s been an incredibly busy three years for just 2 pairs of hands.
The markets are vitally integral to their operation as it’s where they source direct feedback, nearly all the feedback they receive is from time spent face-to-face with customers. Online feedback proves incredibly difficult to generate so the markets will remain in their designs for many years to come. This in-person customer commentary has helped them adjust their recipes over the years. When they started out their shots were solely on the spicier side. Now, from direct feedback, they’ve custom tailored the selections to include a 4 strength tier of options.
The future looks bright for the vivacious female partnership too, with a wonderful symbiotic working relationship that’s blossomed. Handily, Michaela shows a strong suit in one aspect of the business and Aneta’s personality suits the other half. They’re also there for each other, as they always have been. Picking up slack or offering support to one another.