NEW GLASGOW – Mike Barbour says he’s enjoyed his nearly three-year evolution as a young entrepreneur.
Raised in New Glasgow, Barbour has been making business inroads nationally as a Canadian entrepreneur focusing on online and retail brand development of premium consumer packaged goods.
A former athlete and member of the Pictou County Weeks Junior A Crushers, Barbour is the founder and CEO of GoodStuff Brand Nutritionals, a premium nutrition company that sells coconut water and nutritional supplements.
Barbour touched on his time in competitive hockey when he returned to New Glasgow on December 22 to share his story to about 30 people who attended a public presentation at Glasgow Square Theatre, presented by the town of New Glasgow and sponsored by Sobeys.
“I’ve always had a desire to compete,” he said. “I have one thing I’m good at – the ability to outwork people. It’s about believing in yourself and doing the work.”
GoodStuff Brand was launched in May 2014 at Sobeys, beginning in Atlantic Canada. At the time, Barbour was 27 and considered the youngest business owner to launch a retail product with a major grocery chain in Canada.
“I went to every (Sobeys) store,” he said. “I felt that one-on-one customer relationship was really important.”
Since then, Barbour has been based in Toronto while trying to market his products and introduce new ones.
“Taking this on in Atlantic Canada was a tremendous risk, but I want to move back,” he said.
While 2015 was a challenge, 2016 was encouraging for Barbour, who advised those present to always strive for improvement.
“Never let your dream for perfection prevent you from finding something that’s good,” he said. “It’s always the hardest part that creates value.”
The growth of the brand has afforded him the opportunity to create two new products and expand the retail distribution of his business across Canada.
Launching this month, Barbour’s newest venture “Xtreme Outdoorsman”, a sports nutrition company designed for extreme outdoorsmen and thrill seekers, will operate as an E-Commerce business available to customers in the U.S. and Canada.
“We are excited to present one of our very own successful young entrepreneurs as an example of the tremendous business acumen and talents that have roots right here in New Glasgow and Pictou County,” said New Glasgow Mayor Nancy Dicks in introducing Barbour.
“Mike… is a shining example of home grown talent and business savvy. It is also outstanding to have a national company such as Sobeys … support Pictou County entrepreneurs and small business.”
Frank MacFarlane, business development officer for Pictou County, explained how Barbour was approached to make his presentation to the community during BDC Small Business Week.
“This didn’t fit with Mike’s hectic schedule but he was quick to offer to speak about his story while he was home for Christmas, and we gladly took him up on his kind offer,” MacFarlane said.
From left: John David Coffin and his mother Lynn Coffin were among those residents who took time to hear from Mike Barbour after his recent presentation about his product called GoodStuff Brand Nutritionals. (Goodwin photo)