Why are people happy to eat processed meat pumped full of hormones but are grossed out by real food? It was a question that had long been on the mind of Coast Protein’s founder Dylan Jones as he spent his teenage summers on organic cattle ranches and later exploring the backcountry of British Columbia and the Yukon.
Travelling through Southeast Asia at the age of 20 there was no doubt in his mind that local people would be eating the tastiest food. So when he found himself at a bus stop in Cambodia, sweating in the 45C heat, he was happy to dig into a local spicy snack. There a lady was wok frying crickets with lime and chilli peppers, before cooling them down, adding a pinch of rock salt, and selling them like popcorn. Dylan bought a bag for the journey and pretty soon he was choosing the crickets over chips and encouraging friends to try the insects.
Back in his hometown of Vancouver, Dylan continued to think about the lack of connection to food that was prevalent in North America. During his MBA in Japan he read every piece of literature on the subject and came across the 2013 UN Food and Agriculture report. It gave a bleak outlook for global food security but contained a ray of sunshine in the form of a focus on insect consumption as a solution to a booming population, damaging agricultural methods and limited resources.
Dylan read that 80% of countries already eat insects and he felt that it was time to introduce his fellow Canadians to it - knowing that many might not be quite ready for whole crickets, Dylan looked into cricket protein flour and discovered Entomo Farms, an Ontario based organic cricket farm.
Dylan contacted his friend Chris, who was working in marketing for an e-commerce company at the time and was looking for a way to become more involved in the startup community. When it came to branding the new business, Chris thought of his talented friend John, now an award-winning art director and designer in Vancouver.
Attending Radius SFU's Slingshot Startup Accelerator helped with planning and after months of recipe creation, sourcing ingredients and product testing on enthusiastic and less than enthusiastic people, Coast Protein was ready to launch. Our story is just beginning and we want you to be a part of growing these seeds of change into a sustainable future for everyone.