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Kelowna business ‘adapts’ a beverage enhancer for wellness

Simps Modern Beverage has dived into the adaptogen mushroom business
Morgan Parker with Pacific Rim, Gerry Job and Kayla O’Flaherty with Simps Modern Beverage. (Jen Zielinski/ Black Press Media)

Struggling to find a doctor in Kelowna is an issue that is far too common to area residents and 27-year-old Kayla O’Flaherty was one of those who was fighting that battle following a diagnosis of ADHD when she discovered adaptogens. O’Flaherty has been in the restaurant industry for 15 years and bartending for nine years but then six months ago joined the sober curious movement which brought her to Simps Modern Beverage. It was there that she was introduced to adaptogens which set her on the path to managing her well-being with mushroom-based nootropics.

“I am a big gym goer and was addicted to pre-workout which would put my body through the fast-acting caffeine, but I have been able to step away from that and just take the energy and focus blend of the adaptogens,” she said.

Kayla O’Flaherty with Simps Modern Beverage. (Jen Zielinski/ Black Press Media)

Simps Modern Beverage is the north-end pop-shop that opened last year, with co-owners Dave Simpson and Gerry Jobe making and selling syrups, pops and non-alcoholic beverages including gins and beers.

Now, this nostalgic pop shop located in the brewery district is also selling adaptogens and nootropics.

“We had been personally seeing benefits from adaptogens and nootropics for some time and we wanted to see how we could incorporate them into a beverage, because of those benefits of non-psychedelic mushrooms and different blue-green algae was having such a positive effect on us,” explained Jobe.

Known in Kelowna as an award-winning bartender, Jobe has been using spirulina, Lions Mane and reishi in cocktails for years. So, when he started experimenting with adaptogens he realized perhaps there was an untapped market.

From there the duo at Simps got in contact with Pacific Rim Brands, a company located at the Innovation Centre that provides natural wellness brands a way of bringing a CBD version of their products to market.

“They have a technology to make anything water-soluble, so my first question to him was can you do mushrooms?” asked Jobe.

The answer was yes and from there began the Simps-Pacific Rim partnership to make its own brand of adaptogenic mushroom blends.

“The way each individual mushroom works is quite specific depending on your desired result,” said Jobe. “If you’re low energy there is a certain mushroom, such as cordyceps to give you a boost.”

Morgan Parker with Pacific Rim said typically adaptogens are used for preventative medicine to support health and wellness over time.

“We came up with a solution where for the first time ever you can experience adaptogens under a ten-minute time frame in its entirety, due to his full bio-availability.. where we can access the full component of the mushroom,” explained Parker.

Simps now sells four different mushroom blends as well as two separate herb blends. The blends are water soluble and can dissolve into any beverage with minimal taste. As well the different blends can be mixed together for different effects.

Jobe said the feedback from the adaptogen products has been positive, with customers who are looking for help with insomnia to joint pain. He said the Simps calm blend has worked with several customers to provide a restful night’s sleep and helped them step away from over-the-counter medications.

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Jen Zielinski

About the Author: Jen Zielinski

Graduate of BCIT working in the field of journalism for 16 years
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