Vancouver firm up-cycles craft beer byproduct to create delicious baking

May 19 2021, 10:42 am


Made in Vancouver is a collaboration between Vancity and Daily Hive. Together, we’re turning the spotlight onto local businesses, organizations, and individuals who are helping to create a healthy local economy.


Food waste is an issue that our entire society needs to be better at dealing with.

At home or in restaurants, as business owners or as consumers, there are things we should all try and do to waste less food.

Tackling the issue head on is Marc Wandler who founded Susgrainable in 2018. Their aim is to be the leader within the up-cycled food space in Canada.

 

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Vancity has been supporting people in our communities since 1946, like local food creators. As part of our Made in Vancouver series spotlighting local businesses and artists, we talked to Marc Wandler, about his business that started as a school project. 

The business started during a school project at UBC, Wandler told Daily Hive.

“A fellow student who came from working in the craft brewery industry asked if we wanted to look into finding an alternative use for the growing beer byproduct that was being produced. We learned that over 450,000 tons gets produced daily across Canada, while this single food byproduct may represent up to 3% of global food waste,” he added.

It was these figured that jump started the decision, and need, to find a way to curb these staggering statistics. They originally launched a line of finished baked goods made from up-cycled Barley Flour, which can be found at local cafes around Vancouver. 

 

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“Everything is made from our up-cycled Barley Flour,” said Wandler. “Prior to the pandemic, we offered a variety of baked goods. We have pivoted into baking mixes since many people are now baking at home. We still produce our two most popular plant-based cookies for cafes throughout the city – but the easy to make baking mixes are offered along with the up-cycled barley flour for the more adventurous bakers,” he added.

They’re excited to get back to what they had originally been doing, but it’s the pivoting and adapting that has kept them successful. It’s much more than the challenge of fewer customers, especially when you’re first starting out.

 

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The constant changes in regulations and safety restrictions has been difficult to keep up with as a small team,” said Wandler.

“A number of our small business partners have gone under and partnerships can take a little longer to forge under the new normal – especially when it comes to producing a physical product and not just a piece of software!” he added.

This is another reason why it’s so important to support local — especially ones who aim to make the world a better place. For Wandler, there’s two key reasons why you should give Susgrainable a try.

The first is “to try a food product that is both new and innovative. The baking mixes are also a great activity to do with young kids and have a discussion around Sustainability!”, and the second reason is “to join a movement (pun intended) to up-cycle 10,000kg of this healthy grain by year end. As a community, we can definitely achieve this. We also are helping the City of Vancouver achieve its zero waste 2040 vision!” Wandler told us.

 

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When you do make your first visit, it’s okay to be hesitant. Marc Wandler knows that it might take some convincing for people to jump on board up-cycled food — but only at the beginning.

We typically get people who are hesitant to try because this product was considered waste at one point,” said Wandler. “However, once people do try, they are typically blown away.”

So what should you absolutely order when you go?

The Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix is the most popular item for the dry good SKUs,” Wandler told us. “In terms of baked goods, the vegan cookies (Animal Lover and Nutty Chocolate Chip) are the most popular,” he added.

Support local and check out these healthy food products that you can feel great about eating in more ways than one. Susgrainable is currently working out of a ghost kitchen, and their products can be ordered online or at various retail outlets throughout Vancouver.

This content was created by Daily Hive’s editorial team independently, with financial support from a sponsor.
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