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Sackville’s Karen Marine Phytoplankton making huge strides in business world

Mathew Bulmer (left) is the director of finance and operations for Karen Marine Phytoplankton, while David Hunter is the company’s president and CEO.
Mathew Bulmer (left) is the director of finance and operations for Karen Marine Phytoplankton, while David Hunter is the company’s president and CEO.

SACKVILLE, N.B. – A vitamin supplement making headlines is bridging all kinds of opportunities with its expansions and celebrity connections.

Karen Marine Phytoplankton has been doing wonders for people experiencing all kinds of issues. The phytoplankton is single-celled nutritional algae formed by sunlight and seawater.

Although there is not much science behind phytoplankton consumption, clinical trials have been starting to roll out to back the benefits, including a recent trial on its effects on irritable bowel syndrome.

“People are getting awesome results with it, that’s for sure,” said David Hunter, founder. “Like people who couldn’t even get out of bed, and all of a sudden they’re pain free.”

First released as a powder, the marine phytoplankton extract now also comes in tablet form and as a moisturizing lotion.

The next big step is to expand into the United States through the infomercial market.

Gabi Hunter (left) is Karen Marine Phytoplankton’s marketing co-ordinator and Shane McDonald serves as graphic designer.

Recently Kevin Harrington, a famous business entrepreneur who was one of the original investors on the television show “Shark Tank,” contacted the company.

Harrington first saw Hunter appear in an interview on Business News Network in late May and asked him to film an infomercial in Florida by the end of the year.

“Historically in Canada we’ve been doing pharmacies,” said Hunter, a B.C. native. “With this U.S. strategy through what we got proposed with “as seen on TV” it’s direct to consumer, which ends up being better for us.”

Doing the direct-to-consumer route will eliminate the wholesale process in stores and pharmacies, making U.S. expansion easier, according to Hunter.

Hulio Rethy co-ordinates sales for the team. He corresponds directly with NHL hockey player Brayden Schenn.

Shoppers Drug Mart has recently expressed interest in taking on the products, following the trend of big names such as London Drugs, Rexall, Lawtons Drugs and Pharmasave. The products can be found in almost every pharmacy and health food stores in the Maritimes and in cities across Canada.

Gordon Ramsay, a celebrity chef, recently requested a sample of Plancton Marino, a strain of phytoplankton that tastes similar to a smoked oyster. The product, distributed by Bluegenics Innovations Inc. in collaboration with a team from Spain, is currently used by high-end chefs like Wolfgang Puck and Michael Smith.

Adding to the superstar lineup is Brayden Schenn, a player for the St. Louis Blues and P.E.I. native. He started endorsing the product line in April after finding it helped him with soreness in his hip and knees. He’s not the only one – athletes are coming forward with testimonies on how the supplement has helped them, opening up a whole new avenue of sports nutrition for the company.

The team is on a hiring hunt for people to call and connect the products with fitness instructors, salons, dermatologists and any other health and wellness capacities that might take interest in the products. As well, preparations are underway to sell the bioactive ingredient used for the lotion to other lotion manufacturers.

Leticia Estabrooks, executive assistant, helps out with shipping while her colleague is on vacation.

Sold by Bluegenics Innovations Inc., the headquarters is located in Sackville, N.B.

Hunter launched the company in 2015 after working since 2006 to conduct research and gain Health Canada approval. The products are sustainably made in collaboration with Fitoplancton Marino in Spain.

Hunter, president of Bluegenics Innovations Inc., started the business after using phytoplankton himself to get rid of his migraines, chronic fatigue and allergies.

Karen Marine Phytoplankton is sold as three products – powder, moisturizing lotion and tablets.


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