CHIA Sisters Chloe and Florence van Dyke
High achievers is putting it mildly when describing Chloe and Florence van Dyke, the brains behind the very successful CHIA Sisters juice drinks.
With a background in neuroscience and research into medicinal properties of plants, Chloe founded CHIA in 2012 to produce a nutritional sports-recovery drink from hydrated chia seeds and natural juices. Her sister Florence, an ex-lawyer and champion athlete, later joined her as sales and export manager.
It was Florence who participated in the Foundation’s Kiwi Young Business Leaders visit to Indonesia in 2016, when CHIA was already exporting to Singapore and Malaysia.
“It helped me understand the trade laws and how difficult it is to export there compared with the easy ride we had in Singapore,” Florence says. ”So, no, Indonesia is not on our list at present, but now we do have connections should we go there.”
Connections were also top of mind with Chloe’s inclusion in the Foundation’s 2017 food and beverage tour to Malaysia and Singapore. Her introductions enabled other delegates to access CHIA’s regional distributor.
“There are definitely benefits in representing ourselves together.” Chloe says. “New Zealand has a good reputation in environmental terms. We hope sustainability will come into it too and that we can be part of the transition.”
CHIA has three priorities: nutrition, sustainability and innovation. Their Nelson-based pressed juice factory, Bottled by the Sun, is New Zealand’s first and only solar-powered juicery. Their latest innovation, a hemp protein-based smoothie, is about to launch.
Both sisters are members of the Leadership Network – Florence chairs the advisory board. “The Leadership hui are very beneficial,” Florence says. “They give you an understanding of Asian cultures but also Māori culture, which is part of our identity.
“The Māori way of doing business is like the Asian way. Just coming together and sitting down and having a meal.”