Brain Snacks reaching new audiences

Shanaya Wiks (left), Café Manager, and Ali Nicholls (right), co-owner of Brain Snacks Co., are preparing an online order. Brain Snacks Co. had a recent collaboration with a YouTuber from Halifax to help promote their products, which can be found on their new website. Photo by Rachel Sloane.

Looking to expand the reach of Brain Snacks Co., a small Regina business, co-owner Ali Nicholls reached out to Liv B, a vegan YouTuber from Halifax.

“I used to actually follow Liv B a number of years ago when she first started online,” said Nicholls. “Once I started a business, she seemed like she a great partner.”

Brain Snacks Co., located in Gardiner Village Square on the corner next to Pharmasave, provides working parents with a childcare service as well as cup of coffee.

During the pandemic, Brain Snacks has increased its online presence with a new partnership.

Liv recently uploaded an unboxing video featuring Brain Snacks’ products, starting with organic superfoods and protein powders from the Australian brand Tropeaka, which they add to their smoothie bowls. The video was posted in late March and has around 7,000 views.

“We love partnering with girls like her,” said Nicholls. “Who are interested in the healthy, sometimes vegan lifestyle, but that doesn’t matter if they’re not.”

According to Nicholls, the relationship with Liv came organically.

“We never once said you have to promote any of these,” said Nicholls. “She’s not the kind of person to promote anything she doesn’t like.”

Liv was unavailable for a comment as she was in the process of promoting the launch of her cookbook called “Liv B’s Easy Everyday”.

The products Nicholls and co-owner Donna Crooks gifted Liv also included Tropeaka’s teas; Little’s Flavour Infused Instant Coffee sets, an instant coffee company based in the UK; Buck Naked Soap Company, an Ontario-based company that specializes in all-natural, vegan, handcrafted products; and smoothie bowl earrings handmade by Regina-based artist Monique of Stardust Artwork.

Customers across Canada are able to buy these products from Brain Snacks’ new website called “The Edit by Brain Snacks Co.”

“It has really helped us grow our audience and customer base, which has been great” said Nicholls. “It’s helping us supplement our café.”

Business dropped in the lead up to winter due to the pandemic, but business was starting to pick up again around February and March according to Nicholls. However, with the more recent restrictions, it has dropped again.

“It’s been really tough,” Nicholls added.

Their café items are still available for takeaway, delivery and curb side pick-up.

The childcare service they offer has become limited.

“We used to be able to have up to six kiddos,” said Nicholls. “You could book or drop in. Obviously now we have gone to by appointment only.”

Before every new appointment the play area is thoroughly cleaned. Temperatures are also checked before entering the play area.

Another change that may be coming to Brain Snacks is seating. They started with limited seating space inside and hope to upgrade their outdoor seating.

“We feel like it would be a good idea for us to invest in the patio, so that people can enjoy Brain Snacks Co. outside,” said Nicholls.

Customers can also look forward to enjoying new summer smoothie bowl flavours.

“I don’t want to leak the flavors yet, but they’re going to be amazing,” said Nicholls.

Despite the restrictions, Nicholls and Crooks are staying positive about the future of Brain Snacks Co.

“We feel really confident that we’re going to make it through the pandemic and continue to grow the business, so we thank everyone for contributing to that,” said Crooks.

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