It’s once again the time of year to look back and reflect on everything that has happened. 2020 was a difficult year; from the individual level to the global level, we faced innumerable hardships that won’t soon be forgotten. It’s hard not to only reflect on these challenges – after all, the news stories and personal experiences surround us daily. But we have to remember that it’s okay to reflect on the good that happened this year as well: more countries are opting for renewable energy over coal-powered energy , Ecosia, a search engine that plants a tree for every search, just planted their 100-millionth tree , and Canada and Germany announced a ban on certain single-use plastics! As we reflect on just how much has changed for the planet in 12 months, we also reflect on how we, as a business, have also changed. From our new locations to our RT | Foundation Award, we had a busy year and we wanted to take a few minutes before the end of 2020 to properly reflect on just how much has transpired inside our walls in the past 12 months.

Branching out

Back in March, when COVID-19 forced most businesses to temporarily close, the Rootree team embraced the changing times and the office staff made the shift to work from home in a moment’s notice. The team adapted quickly and learnt the ins and outs of working remotely, finding new ways to connect and collaborate, and even adjusting some processes to eliminate the need for paper! We were fortunate enough to not have any staff layoffs or reduced hours due to COVID-19; instead, our team grew across all departments during this uncertain time – we knew that small businesses needed us, and we weren’t going to disappoint! During the past year, our Rootree family has grown by 27 people, and we couldn’t be more proud to add these talented people to our teams who work hard to serve our wonderful clients.

Photos taken in April 2020, while staff worked from home, on National Pyjama Day

Perhaps the biggest growth in staff Rootree saw during 2020 was the development of our Creative Services team! Back in January, this team consisted only of 2 graphic designers; we’re ecstatic to say this team has grown into its own agency within Rootree, and they are eager and ready to support our clients. Today, this team consists of a creative director, graphic designers, web developers, and a social media and content marketer! Not only does the growth in this team represent the growth of Rootree as a whole, but it has allowed for us to work with more inspiring businesses as we provide them with new branding and identity, websites, pouch designs, social media presence, and lifestyle photography!

Bonjour, Québec!

Bonjour, Québec!

In July, we proudly opened a new office in Montréal, Québec! This new office means that we are able to work more efficiently with clients who are bilingual, provide a showroom and office that is closer for those living in Québec and on the East Coast, and offer quicker delivery times for sample packs! With this step to becoming bilingual, we began translating all of our content – from our newsletter, to our social media posts, to our on-hold messaging! We’re so excited to continue to serve our clients in Québec and on the East Coast, as well as our other French-speaking clients, and can’t wait to see what their businesses do next!

We’re growing

With our continuously growing team, we quickly outgrew our old office, located in Hamilton, Ontario! In July, we officially moved our headquarters to a new 50,000 sq. ft. building in Burlington, Ontario, located just 20 minutes away from our old one. With the extra office and warehouse space, we’re excited to not only continue to grow our teams, but to welcome even more exciting equipment into our warehouse.

We're Growing

In fact, this fall we gleefully welcomed another machine into our much-larger warehouse to convert your beautiful prints into pouches, and are patiently waiting for two more (which we may find under the Christmas tree in a couple of weeks)! We couldn’t be more excited about what this means for our clients, and can’t wait to show them off to you shortly!


RT | Foundation

We launched our 4th RT | Foundation Award this year with a contest but made the prize bigger and better than ever! This year’s prize was worth $5,000, and for the first time, was open to businesses who were not currently clients of ours. We received an overwhelming amount of love from the small business community, which really drove home why we started offering this award in the first place: to inspire this community of amazing businesses and help them grow.
In a surprise twist (because nothing in 2020 is “normal”), two recipients were chosen to receive the award! Small businesses have been heavily impacted this year, so it only seemed fair to do what we could to help them thrive – after all, that’s the whole point of this award! We’re pleased to announce that Saw-Dog Coffee Roasters and Yes Crickets are the recipients of this year’s award, and we can’t wait to show you all the finished products in the new year. Check out our blog post to learn more about these inspiring businesses!

Movement Mondays & Tranquil Thursdays

Movement Mondays & Tranquil Thursdays

Health and wellness are important core values here at Rootree, and back in the summer we started offering bi-weekly virtual yoga classes on Monday mornings to help everyone get their body moving and renew their mind before jumping into a busy work week. These yoga classes, led by our very own Sjonum ( @sjonumyoga ), were such a huge hit, we had no choice but to make it a weekly thing! Now known as Movement Mondays (and taking place both physically distanced in-person as well as on video chat), we quickly found that this one-hour-a-week class had potential for a sister, and with that, Tranquil Thursday was born! Designed to help our staff forget about their to-do lists and worries for a moment, Tranquil Thursdays are about focusing on ourselves and clearing our minds for a full hour near the end of the week. We’re excited to see that these opportunities receive such great feedback from our staff, and are thankful for their commitment to their health, especially during trying and stressful times.

Tree Planting

Tree planting is an important initiative that we participate in every year. These trees are Holiday gifts from us to our clients and are always planted on their behalf! Last December, we pledged 300 trees and planned for them to be planted in the following months, but then the world went into a lockdown and we were not able to complete our mission. This year, on top of 2019’s pledge, we originally committed an additional 375 trees! However, we thought the world needed a little extra boost, and are thrilled to announce that we will be planting 2021 trees this Spring to honour the new year, almost tripling our original tree planting commitment for 2019 and 2020. We’re excited for this tradition to continue and to see these trees grow more fruitful every year.

Tree Planting

Improved Compostable Structure

Improved Compostable Structure

After many years of research and development, our talented team is on the verge of completing a fantastic revamp of our compostable material structure that will replace all compostable products we currently make! Not only are we improving the material structure, but we’re working hard to keep up with the demand to create “e-commerce ready” packaging! We’re excited to debut this better, stronger, and more sustainable product offering in the new year.

Final Thoughts

2020 hasn’t been an easy year in many ways, but it wouldn’t be fair to simply forget about the good that has happened as well, no matter how small that good is! We want to thank everyone involved in helping create such a memorable year for us – from our office staff to our machine operators to you, our amazing clients! We couldn’t have done it without you.

Philippe St-Cyr, President & CEO says:
“With a great number of challenges comes the contentment-rich insight that life is a continuous interplay of ease and difficulty, and of immense happiness and sadness. It is with this thought that we know 2021 will be an absolutely incredible year. This year has shown us that the Rootree Family has become a lot more than the sum of our parts. It has become its own living entity, a maturing and rooted tree standing firm and adapting to the changing winds.

The tree is a refuge and dynamic ecosystem, creating strength and foundation through the roots, habitat for life form, material for creation, inspiration for art, shade and cover for weather, leaves to soothe the nervous system, oxygen for sustaining all life, fruit for nourishing and delighting the senses, and stillness to calm the mind, always welcoming and never pushing away.

Thank you in the greatest sense of appreciation and humility to our staff, to our customers, and supplier-partners. Thank you to the vibrancy of our own ecosystem, we have had success in overcoming obstacles and converting them into fruitful opportunities.

Rootree enjoyed an explosive growth this year and we could not have done it without you. We also commend our community of small to medium businesses and enterprises for the tact and insightful way they have dealt with a most difficult year.

Love, health, appreciation and our wishes of some quality time spent with what matters most during the holidays: family.”

Happy Holidays