Our Story

By Friends, For Friends

Olli crafts premium cannabis-infused teas and edibles.

We work with best-in-class suppliers to offer quality ingredients and premium cannabis that is tested from seed to sale. Our exclusive tea blends are internationally sourced and chosen by our in-house, world-renowned tea sommelier, while our edibles are prepared by an award-winning chef who trained at Michelin-starred restaurants.

Our unique products are low dose, artisanal and incredibly delicious. Think sips of wonderfully nuanced Mint Tea or nibbles of irresistible Strawberry Fruit Chews you’ll want to share with friends.

 

Photo of Co-Founders Sarah Gillin and John B. Aird in kitchen

Co-Founders Sarah Gillin & John B. Aird

Richard Guzauskas, Head of Tea Product Development

Photo of Executive Chef, Adrian Niman in kitchen with Olli tea

Adrian Niman, Executive Chef

Our Team

John B. Aird
Co-Founder & CEO
Illustration of Co-Founder John B. Aird

After working in the cannabis industry since its infancy, John has solidified himself as a stalwart and trusted advisor in the medical cannabis space, now focusing his expertise on the recreational side to launch his new venture as co-founder and CEO of Olli. Over the course of his career, he has worked with top medical cannabis brands like Aphria and Nuuvera implementing their domestic and international strategies as well as being a key contributor to their increase in shareholder value with his strategic mindset. As a notable cannabis expert, John knows how best to develop products of a high standard and ensure all Olli product offerings are best in class.

Sarah Gillin
Co-Founder & COO
Co-founder Sarah Gillin

A Toronto native, Sarah Gillin brings over fifteen years of business management experience, with a focus on luxury goods marketing, to the Olli team as the Chief Operating Officer. She has considerable international experience working with notable luxury brands, most recently with Toronto’s top bespoke jeweler, Mindham Fine Jewellery. With an Executive Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the prestigious Rotman School of Management, Sarah is breaking down barriers for women in the cannabis industry by developing a compelling brand for entry-level cannabis curious to seasoned cannabis consumers. Sarah is passionate about the community she lives in and devotes her personal time to her growing family, as a soon to be mother, as well as a variety of charitable initiatives.

Richard Guzauskas
Head of Tea Product Development
Director of Tea Product Development, Richard Guzauskas

World-renowned tea sommelier, Richard Guzauskas is the Director of Tea Product Development at Olli and one of the most sought-after tea specialists in the world. Richard curates Olli’s cannabis-infused teas creating unique and refreshing blends. Richard entered the specialty tea industry in 1988 by launching the Leaves Pure Tea brand and after selling that brand, Richard began working with DAVIDsTEA in its earliest stages and has remained Head of Blend Development since 2008.

Adrian Niman
Executive Chef
Executive Chef, Adrian Niman

Award-winning and Michelin-starred restaurant-trained chef Adrian Niman is the Executive Chef of Olli, creator of the premium, high-quality edibles in Olli’s product roster and brings his expertise and flair for the extraordinary to create its unique and healthy flavours. In addition to Olli, Adrian is the owner and Executive Chef of The Food Dudes, and studied at the Michelin-starred Reeds Hotel in Mallorca, Spain where he perfected his craft before moving back to Toronto to open and operate prominent restaurants Rasa, Pantry, Clay and Sara.

Tess A. Fox
Director of Operations
Director of Operations, Tess A. Fox

Tess has been immersed in the Canadian cannabis industry since early 2017. She has been working with the co-founders of Olli since the beginning, developing partnerships, managing cannabis licensing activities and working closely on the regulatory side for both food and cannabis. She is currently working through her MBA at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. Prior to Olli, Tess spent three years in the hospitality industry, managing and operating one of the top restaurants in Toronto, Rasa, for three years, sitting in the seat next to the founders. Tess has worked in various industries over the years in addition to hospitality including media, marketing and operations. She has her Bachelor of Commerce degree from the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University and has also attended the Aarhus School of Business in Denmark.

Matt Wowk
Head of Logistics
Director of Production & Fulfillment, Matt Wowk

Matt is no stranger to the restaurant industry. He’s been an integral asset to Food Dudes restaurant and catering company best known for their award-winning restaurants Rasa and Pantry. In the past decade, Matt has honed his skills working alongside noteworthy chefs and restaurateurs to become a master in management, logistics, and customer relations. Not only is he seasoned when it comes to experience, but he also comes armed with a Business Commerce Degree from Dalhousie University, making Matt a natural fit for the role of Director of Production and Fulfillment.
Led by his passion and love for the cannabis industry, Matt is eager to introduce cannabis edibles to the restaurant world. His meticulous nature is in full force when it comes to food detail, and his high-standards are consistently met from kitchen conception to final plate presentation. Food and safety protocol are top priority. Neither taste nor safeties are sacrificed under his watch. Matt’s love for both cannabis and food are reflected in the Olli cuisine and is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Alexandra Foote
Sales & Marketing Coordinator
Sales & Marketing Coordinator, Alexandra Foote

Alexandra began her career working at Canada’s leading pharmaceutical distributor and has over 2 years of sales and marketing experience specializing in the health and wellness category. Alexandra holds a Commerce Degree from McMaster University, and works alongside Olli’s co-founder Sarah on implementing and executing all of Olli’s marketing and sales initiatives including events, brand asset development and public relations outreach.

Vanya Bala
Head of R&D
Head of Commercialization and Quality, Vanya Bala

Vanya has over 5 years of experience working in the food industry in project management as well as supply chain quality assurance. She comes with hands-on experience in commercializing private label food products and in quality risk management for 60+ vendors from 10+ countries. At Olli, she translates her supply chain and technical expertise in commercializing new products from inception to the store shelves.

Iren Haxhi
Quality Assurance Person
Quality Assurance Person, Iren Haxhi

Iren has been working with Olli since 2018 in developing the Quality Manual, to be compliant with Health Canada’s requirements for the issuance of Olli’s Processing License. Iren has extensive experience as a chemistry analytical technician and Quality Assurance technician and has a B.SC in Analytical Chemistry from Carleton University.