Joseph Edogbeni is an entrepreneur in the truest sense. Originally from Nigeria, he came to Winnipeg in the summer of 2011 on an exploratory business trip with the intent of migrating to Canada.
Joseph grew up in a family of petty traders. "When I was small, I would leave my home in the morning with arms full of product and return home at the end of the day having sold everything."
Clearly, he knows how to earn a dollar, but he also knows the value of his roots. According to an article in the Nigerian Journal of Science and Environment, Vol. 12 (1) (2013), Nigeria has been in the limelight as of late for their holistic medicine practices, which Joseph grew up innately knowing and applying.
"The name HEYRU (pronounced ay-roo) is based on an Isoko, African word meaning natural beauty," he says. "Our company was founded on this concept and it is inherent in everything we do. I believe so strongly in sharing my passion about natural wellness with the world that I created a business designed to bring earthy and natural products to the health and wellness market."
HEYRU focuses on sustainability, and linking together the local community. "Our naturally sourced products come from where the artisans are located in Africa. We bring these natural health options here to Winnipeg. But since we've called Winnipeg home, we package all of our products in biodegradable containers right here in Manitoba with the goal of reinvesting in the Manitoba economy."
Joseph's entrepreneurial background, including over two decades of experience in the Nigerian market, helped him recognize the opportunity to use his sourcing niche to offer Canadians high-quality options for natural products.
"I am most passionate about life," he told me clad in a vibrant and stylish outfit. He's sharp and radiates goodness. "Everything that makes life most beautiful is what inspires me. In fact, when I am not feeling my best, I take time to focus on gratitude, go for a walk or seek out the bright side in a situation. A new day is always a new challenge – one that I embrace whole-heartedly."
Living the Canadian dream, Joseph Edogbeni doesn't take a minute for granted.
The first adopters of his global products were Hollow Reed Holistic, Generation Green and Boreal Wildcraft. Recently, HEYRU products were approved for listing in Manitoba by Sobeys. "It's exciting to have Sobeys get behind our products. They will bring convenience to our retail customers".
Currently HEYRU has three flagship products, which combined create a wellness pack.
Hibiscus – Hot or cold hibiscus leaves makes a delicious tea and can be used in baking, cooking or even or wine making. "Back home we drank hibiscus tea for many purposes, but especially weight management," says Joseph. It's caffeine free and sustainably sourced. "Our tea leaves are very potent because they are naturally sundried and hibiscus is also known for its high antioxidant properties, natural diuretic effects and high vitamin C content."
To complement their hibiscus tea, HEYRU plans to package monk fruit, a natural sweetener and have it ready for market by the end of summer. Not only delicious and calorie-free, HEYRU's monk fruit sweetener will be available in three flavours; original monk fruit extract with erythritol, hibiscus-infused and Saskatoon berry flavour. Joseph says it is safe for those who are trying to restrict their cholesterol intake. Monk fruit is a good sweetener, especially for diabetics.
"We are conscious to include the local Canadian market in everything we do whether that's in the berries we pick or the packaging facility where we employ residents of Warren, Manitoba." HEYRU is a member of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce as well as Food & Beverage Manitoba.
HEYRU'S third product is pure Shea body butter. Processed by traditional method of roasting, which activates the moisture and yields a better result, their Shea butter is whipped right here in Warren, Manitoba. Known to soften and rejuvenate your skin, but in Nigeria it is used even more so because of its healing powers for sore muscles, broken bones and treating skin lesions such as scars.
"Beauty from the inside out is what we're all about. Applying natural beauty practices that feel good is a better way," he says. "For me, it's very important that I listen to my body. I am the kind of person who looks for good in everything, but especially in how we take care of ourselves."
A leader in the natural beauty movement, Joseph Edogbeni will be showcasing HEYRU's Wellness Box at Toronto Gift+Home Market, Sunday, August 11th to Wednesday, August 14th, 2019, a gift box that will include a 75g Hibiscus Canister, 7oz Shea butter and 250g monk fruit. For more information, visit www.shopheyru.com today.