Juice sisters going solar
The ‘‘Chia Sisters’’, Florence, left, and Chloe Van Dyke, are growing their Nelson drinks business in an environmental, ethical way – and they’re about to flick the switch on a bottling operation powered by the sun.
The Chia Sisters are ready to flick the switch to convert their Nelson juicery into a sun-powered bottling operation.
Thirty solar panels, angled to catch the best of the day’s rays, have been installed on the roof of their factory, the former Bays Brewery in Tahunanui.
It’s been a busy few weeks for Chloe and Florence Van Dyke, who had the panels installed a few days after moving their juicing business into the factory a fortnight ago.
Their focus on growing their business in an environmental, ethical way meant the switch to renewable energy was a ‘‘dream fulfilled’’, Chloe said.
‘‘You can see some businesses that, as they grow, their ethics decrease.
‘‘But as we’ve gone on we’ve met more people and been given more ideas, including solar power.’’
‘‘If ethics are a core value of your business from the beginning, that will always be at the forefront of your mind as you grow,’’ Florence added.
Also, working in the sunniest city in New Zealand made using solar power a natural choice, she said. ‘‘It makes so much sense.’’
On a sunny Nelson day, the factory’s 30 panels will produce 16 kilowatts an hour, double the factory’s needs. Excess kilowatts will be sold back to the power company.
Chloe founded Chia six years ago, with a chia seed drink she developed as an alternative to sugar-laden energy drinks. Florence joined the company a couple of years ago.
The pair have launched a new range of pressed juices, Bottled by the Sun, to ‘‘utilise the concept of solar panels,’’ Florence said.
They want to stand out as an example to other factories contemplating the idea of switching to solar power.
‘‘It seems like a challenge, but it’s been so smooth,’’ Florence said.
‘‘We’re saving money and we have a fantastic new product.’’
Solar panels have been installed on the Chia Sisters factory in Nelson to provide power for the bottling operation. The company has also launched a new juice product, Bottled by the Sun.