Nicolette Richer has found her purpose. She loves being a social entrepreneur and can’t imagine doing anything else. She sees no differentiation between work, life and play anymore and every day she wakes up excited, energized and inspired. She claims that the hardest part about being a social entrepreneur is that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done!
Nicolette co-owns the Green Moustache, a 100% organic juice, smoothie and live food bar, with her husband Pierre. She started the business to spread awareness about obtaining optimal health through natural foods. Her belief is that environmental health and human health are intrinsically linked; “I am nature and nature is me”. The husband and wife duo currently operate three Green Moustache locations in the Sea to Sky Corridor, two in Whistler and one in Squamish, and the business is rapidly expanding as franchises are being established throughout BC.
The Green Moustache was recently featured on the Dragons’ Den. You can watch the episode here! Nicolette loved the experience and explains that the process thoroughly improved her business skills. Luckily, Nicolette had just completed the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs’ E-Series program, a three day in-class process that teaches Canadian women entrepreneurs topics they need to know in order to grow their business. On the last day of the program, Nicolette remembers: “we practiced our pitches 23 times in one day! That definitely helped me to prepare for my pitch to the Dragons”. The experience also taught her the importance of being confident and grounded, and “being the business and the entrepreneur that you want to be”. The worst part of the experience? Missing her flight because she was covered in sawdust building the third Green Moustache location!
Nicolette also runs a partner business to the Green Moustache, Richer Health, which primarily focuses on nutrition consulting. Through Richer Health, Nicolette has just launched a new online program, Eat to Beat: a five week course that teaches people with chronic diseases how to heal themselves by eating the right foods.
Nicolette established the foundation for Eat to Beat through participating in the Centre’s Social Venture Challenge 2015 program. She believes that the pitch she presented at the Social Venture Challenge Pitch Event might have been the first pitch she’s ever done. The Eat to Beat concept has morphed significantly since 2015; Nicolette first imagined a program that would provide healthy, organic food at cost to individuals with a registered chronic disease. But she soon discovered that this was too logistically challenging due to storage issues, and so established the online version of the program.
Nicolette encourages anyone with “even just an inkling of an idea” to participate in the Social Venture Challenge, an initiative that encourages, supports and helps to grow new social ventures in the Sea to Sky Corridor through mentorship, capacity building and spreading awareness. When asked what advice she would give to future participants, she said “choose something and choose anything – you’re going to learn a lot and your idea is going to change as a result… be prepared to allow your venture to morph”.