Indigenous Owned Company Releases Kelp Probiotic Product
TOFINO – Jordan White and Stevie Dennis have just released their first product, a kelp probiotic, under their Keltsmaht Kelp company banner.
It’s plant food, and is available at eight different garden stores on Vancouver Island, including Kleijn Nurseries and Garden Centre in Nanaimo, and at Borden Mercantile Co. Ltd. in Victoria and Buckerfield’s in Langford.
It’s the result of plenty of research and hard work by the business partners and best friends, who tested over 60 variations of the kelp probiotic before it was brought to market. They are using giant kelp and wild bull kelp found in the traditional Ahousaht territory near Tofino.
One of their goals is to establish a kelp farm in Ritchie Bay.
White and Dennis met while working at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort in 2016, and reconnected in 2019 when White returned to Tofino as a co-op student through North Island College. Dennis was his boat driver while working for the Maaqutusiis Hahoulthee Stewardship Society as they were dropping kelp lines for Cermaq.
“The possibilities are limitless,” Dennis told Melissa Renwick in an article in the Ha-Shilth-Sa publication. “You could turn it into food, you could turn it into fuel, you could turn it into a bioplastic, you could even grow it and let people pay for carbon [offset] credits.”
The company has the potential to create jobs to help the local economy.
“If we can create kelp farms here in Clayoquot Sound and give that opportunity to community members, it’s a win for everybody,” Dennis said in Ha-Shilth-Sa. “It’s a win for the people and it’s a win for the ecosystem.”
The company website states its mission: To bring the natural benefits of kelp to everyday life.
Dennis is of the Keltsmaht people. The Keltsmaht Hahouthlee (territory) once spread from Warn Bay out to Vargas Island and down past Long Beach to the neighbouring Toquaht Nation (Barkey Sound), and is now located on the eastern side of Vargas Island.
The Keltsmaht and Quatsiaht nations remain recognized within the Ahousaht Nation.