One of the Winnipeg's most highly anticipated events, the Spirit of Winnipeg Awards organized by the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce honors local businesses that are making a difference. So when we found out that we were nominated in the Small Business category for 2016, the entire team here at Botanical PaperWorks was overjoyed and incredibly grateful to be among the other innovative businesses from our community that were nominated in the category. Company President, Heidi Reimer-Epp and Director of Operations, Bryce Saunders gathered a few of the mangers who work hard to make the eco-friendly business a success to enjoy the evening and take a moment to celebrate how far we've come. Everyone was blown away by the sophisticated decor, the delicious dinner menu and the overall atmosphere of the entire evening. It was truly a night to remember! Congratulations to all the businesses and organizations that took home Spirit Awards. We are truly in awe of the innovation happening in Winnipeg and are proud to call this city home! We want to say thank you once again to the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce for organizing such a fantastic evening that celebrates and honors the hard work of Winnipeg businesses. We're still completely overjoyed by our nomination and are looking forward to sharing our green values and eco-friendly seed paper throughout Winnipeg and the rest of the world. To learn more about the business and nomination, take a look at this Q+A with the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and company president, Heidi Reimer-Epp. 1. What services do you offer and who do you serve? Botanical PaperWorks is the world leader in production of seed paper, a specialty paper that grows flowers, herbs and vegetables directly from the paper. The sheets are converted into corporate promotional products (bookmarks, postcards, business cards, etc) and consumer stationery (invitations and greeting cards). Clients include Fortune 500 companies and great brands such as Mattel, Campbell’s, Starbucks, Marriott, Toyota and many more. Botanical PaperWorks’ seed paper has had global impact. It has given companies and consumers an alternative to regular paper products. By using seed paper, they can help, not harm the environment. For some companies, using seed paper has been the first step in their sustainability journey. For others, it’s allowed them to share their sustainability commitment through eco products that reflect their values. The environmental impact has been remarkable; in partnership with its customers, Botanical PaperWorks has produced enough paper to plant a wildflower garden the length of the circumference of the globe – and that was just in 2014! 2. What does innovation mean to your organization? For Botanical PaperWorks, innovation is a daily practice in designing new products, creating new markets and inventing new methods of production. Because it is such a high priority, Botanical PaperWorks has woven innovation into every day internal processes. Each weekly meeting of managers, team leaders and team members includes process improvement, customer feedback and new product ideas that keep the innovation pipeline overflowing. Ideas that begin with “wouldn’t it be cool if we…” regularly result in new products and production techniques. For example, when Botanical PaperWorks created seed bombs for the guerrilla gardening movement, we designed equipment and production techniques from scratch to scale-up production. 3. What is a new trend in business that your organization is excited for? The sustainability movement is growing in strength and Botanical PaperWorks is glad to be part of the change. We launched the new Native Seeds program in response to concerns about disappearing pollinators and insects such as bees which are vital to the food ecosystem. Customers of our promotional product line can now choose a seed specific to their region to grow native pollinator plants. These specially-selected, conservationist-approved wildflowers help support declining bee populations. They also help to create habitats for birds, butterflies and other insects in the community. Learn more here. 4. What do small businesses in Winnipeg need to know to be successful? For a company to be successful, it needs good people. It’s vital to have a group of talented individuals who share the company values and work together as a team. When we gather for the awards night on March 4, I’ll be proud to be there with members of our leadership team at Botanical PaperWorks, some of the many people who make our company successful. 5. What would winning the Spirit Award mean to your organization? Winning the Spirit Award would be an important achievement for my team. We would be thrilled to be recognized by our peers, fellow business owners and leaders of Winnipeg. It would mean being affirmed as an innovative and creative company and as a company that contributes to making our city a great place to live and work. Being named as a finalist for the Spirit Awards is an honour and we are proud to represent Winnipeg as we do business all around the world. How Does Plantable Plantable Work? Curious about seed paper? Take a look at this informative video to see how to plant the paper and why you should use it!