Maple Organics founder Rosy Atwal, left, and Ashley Ward, right, receive the Surrey Board of Trade New Business of the Year award from Franklin Jackson of the new Civic Hotel. (Photo: Submitted)

Maple Organics founder Rosy Atwal, left, and Ashley Ward, right, receive the Surrey Board of Trade New Business of the Year award from Franklin Jackson of the new Civic Hotel. (Photo: Submitted)

‘Canada’s first organic pharmaceutical company’ based in Surrey

One of the founders grew up in Surrey

When Rosy Atwal became pregnant with her first child, she said she began looking for a line of organic care products.

But it became apparent, she said, that there weren’t any organic lines that she could find, so she decided to develop her own.

Maple Organics, which was founded by Atwal and longtime friend Ashley Ward, recently received the New Business of the Year award from the Surrey Board of Trade. The company, Atwal said, is based in Surrey.

The two, she said, went to the same business school but graduated two years apart.

“We missed each other at school, but then when we both were in Vancouver, we ran into each other at a ‘women in business’ panel and we actually became really good friends. We hit it off and had a great interaction.”

View this post on Instagram

Guess what just happened!?

A post shared by Maple Organics (@mapleorganics) on

Atwal said it was in 2009/2010, and on her own, that she started to make formulations for products, but then life got in the way.

“I started making them years ago because I was trying to develop cleaner products for my son,” she said. “Then I got pretty busy with trying to have babies, and trying to keep my day job.

“I actually worked for an organic food company at the time, so I really had a strong understanding of the benefits of organic farming, the organic produce that’s developed and how it reduces toxin overloads in your body and also how it allows more micronutrients to be delivered to your body through your skin or through your consumption of foods.”

When Atwal’s son got sick with the flu for the first time, according to Maple Organics website, “Atwal was determined to develop an effective, healthy alternative to the mainstream brands for relief of his symptoms

“Working closely with Health Canada and a chemist, she reverse engineered several mainstream topical ointments to extract the active medical ingredients. She then suspended them in an organic base,” the website reads. “As a result, we are proud to say that we are Canada’s first Organic Pharmaceutical Company.”

When the women were starting the company, Atwal said they weren’t aware Maple Organics was the country’s first organic pharmaceutical company. Maple Organics is also a USDA Organic and Health Canada approved company.

“We were just trying to provide cleaner options, and then as we started to look at our ingredients, we recognized that we were plant based,” Atwal said. “When we realized it was (the first organic pharmaceutical company in Canada), we thought, ‘Oh, we’re just basically going back to plant medicine.”

In the couple of years since starting, Atwal said she hasn’t seen another organic pharmaceutical company, but she said she doesn’t see that lasting long.

“I’m sure that they’ll come because there’s definitely a big interest from consumers to clean out their medicine cabinets.”

Maple Organics, according to a media release, had the opportunity to sell products at mass supermarkets, but instead chose to use a direct sales approach.

Atwal said the company now has hundreds of consultants across the country. She said the reason for the direct sales approach was to allow people “to be able to earn income without being stuck in a corporate 9-5 environment, where they’re commuting and rushing and kind of missing those little moments.”

“I think the biggest thing for Ashley and I, in that moment was, not only are we able to help people be healthier through our products, we are also able to make them kind of well through our income,” said Atwal, adding that it’s “really a holistic approach for wellness.”

Atwal said it was an “incredible feeling” to receive the award with Ward by her side.

“We had this big dream of creating these opportunities for men and women to start their own businesses selling our products and we did it in a way that would empower families to create a life of choice, one that was steeped in whichever family traditions they wanted.”



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

READ ALSO: Winners of 2018 Surrey International Trade Awards revealed

READ ALSO: Surrey Board of Trade announces 2018 environment, business award winners

READ ALSO: Surrey Business Excellence Awards nominees named

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The interventional oncology team at Surrey Memorial Hospital. The Surrey Hospitals Foundation has invested in innovative technologies to kickstart a new Interventional Oncology service at Surrey Memorial Hospital. (Submitted photo: Yvonne Chiang)
Surrey Memorial home to machines for ‘minimally invasive’ cancerous tumours treatments

Technology can freeze, burn tumours without need for surgery

An example of a Surrey Police cruiser, showcased at Mayor Doug McCallum’s State of the City Address at Civic Hotel in May of 2019. (File photo: Amy Reid)
OUR VIEW: Surrey Police Service continues to draw from RCMP well

Again, it flies in the face of mayor’s election campaign pitch that Surrey needs a police force whose ranks live in this city

New United States Vice President Kamala Harris (left) and President Joe Biden (right) are sworn in at U.S. inauguration ceremonies Wednesday morning in Washington, D.C.. (Saul Loeb/Pool photos via AP)
Surrey Board of Trade highlights innovation, policy changes as new U.S. president sworn in

COVID-19, border re-opening among issues affecting city, SBOT says

Guildford Seniors Village, located in Surrey. (Image: Google Maps)
Fraser Health declares COVID-19 outbreaks over at 2 Surrey care homes

Outbreaks over at The Emerald at Elim Village, Guildford Seniors Village

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
From the “You can’t make this stuff up” file – stories from the BC CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

Snow is forecasted to appear in parts of Metro Vancouver this weekend. (Black Press Media files)
Snow forecasted for parts of Lower Mainland this weekend

Environment Canada is predicting flurries and snow from Saturday to Monday evening

(Thesendboys/Instagram)
Video of man doing backflip off Vancouver bridge draws police condemnation

Group says in Instagram story that they ‘don’t do it for the clout’

A Langley woman said she was shaken by the angry encounter. (Google Maps)
Woman shaken after belligerent encounter with unmasked man in Langley store

A man angry about vaccines berated a fellow shopper, a witness said

Inspection of bridge crossing on a B.C. forest service road. (B.C. Forest Practices Board)
B.C. falling behind in maintenance of forest service roads

Auditor finds nearly half of bridges overdue for repair

(Black Press Media files)
Woman steals bottles of wine after brandishing stun baton in New Westminster

Police say the female suspect was wearing a beige trench coat with fur lining

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
UPDATED WITH VIDEO: Vancouver Island paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canadian malls, conference centres, hotels offer up space for COVID vaccination centres

Commercial real estate association REALPAC said that a similar initiative was seeing success in the U.K.

Most Read