An Entrepreneur With Healthy Living on His Mind: Meet Matthew Brown
Here at CBU, we are proud to have employees who are not only proficient in their work with the institution but also have other areas of interest in which they excel. This is the case for Matthew Brown, CBU’s Recruitment and Engagement Specialist for the Halifax market. Apart from this role where he focuses on community partnerships and recruiting new students to study at CBU, Matthew is also the co-founder of Sun Under the Sea, a non-dairy collagen creamer product.
Born and raised in South Bar, Matthew is a proud CBU Alumni with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a major in marketing. He also has a Master of Global Business from the University of Victoria, which provided him opportunities to work and study in Taiwan and Austria. After returning to Canada, Matthew worked in export development and operations management where he met Alex and Jeremy, two bosses turned business partners for Sun Under the Sea.
“Alex was my boss and CEO and Jeremy was our CFO,” says Matthew. “One day, Jeremy called a meeting to discuss the fact that we currently sell 16 products in multiple countries, conforming to the various international regulatory requirements and numerous manufacturing facilities. Jeremy thought, ‘imagine if we only had one product to focus on.” That was the beginning of Sun Under the Sea.
Sun Under the Sea is a non-dairy collagen creamer product with three primary ingredients: marine collagen, Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) and acacia fiber. “The collagen is a high quality, locally and sustainably sourced marine collagen, which is an important protein building block to support your body’s joints, tissues and muscles. MCT is derived from coconuts which are fatty acids that are the easiest to metabolize, providing your body with quick and easy access to energy. Acacia fibre is a prebiotic, which helps keep your gut and digestive system healthy,” explains Matthew. As a means to be sustainable, the company uses 100% compostable packaging and donates a percentage of their sales to Oceana, a global ocean conservatory organization. Sun Under the Sea is also locally manufactured in Nova Scotia.
Matthew had experience working in nutrition stores and always considered himself very health-conscious, which played a role in his endeavors. He learned that the quality of the products sold in nutrition stores can vary widely and he wanted to be part of something that provided a clean, healthy and sustainable product. Matthew also noticed the lack of health options in restaurants and grew up in a household with multiple food allergies and dairy intolerances. These two factors also played a big role in his enthusiasm to sell a healthy, non-dairy product.
Established in 2018, Sun Under the Sea currently sells in more than 30 retail stores across Canada and is in discussion with larger grocery chains to service stores in the Halifax Regional Municipality. Sun Under the Sea also has sales in Hong Kong and plans to grow further in the near future.
“Our company just attended a very successful trade mission in South Korea and Japan and have started to private label for another company,” shares Matthew. “This allows us to achieve lean growth while diversifying our revenue streams. We are also working with a local scientist and lab to further develop and refine our product, along with developing new products.”
While being an entrepreneur and working a separate full-time job can be challenging, Matthew hasn’t let it slow him down. “I always loved the idea of working for yourself and for entrepreneurial companies in general,” he says. “I knew I also wanted to continue to get relevant career-building work experience at different organizations and that I wanted to do them both simultaneously. This was the perfect situation.”
We are proud to have many hardworking employees at CBU, just like Matthew. To learn more about Sun Under the Sea, visit sununderthesea.com.