Jennifer RathwellLocal & Fresh

I started my own business for the reasons that tend to lure everyone: I wanted the chance to forge my own destiny and be my own boss. As a former journalist, becoming an entrepreneur was a natural step. Every day, journalists are never quite sure of what the day will bring them, or how they may have to pivot and respond to report a story. Running your own business takes similar qualities: adaptability, perseverance, and some comfort with the idea that you will never face the same day over and over again.

My husband is my partner in life and in both of the businesses that we started. We began our journey with our own communications and public relations firm, and after nearly a decade in business, we began to think about a significant change. The challenges in advertising and communications come from wrestling with your client's challenges: how to promote a new product, or gain media attention, or plan a year of events. We started to ask ourselves: what if we put all of the skills we learned over the years about marketing and advertising and customer relationships to work for ourselves instead? That's how our current business, Local and Fresh, was born. We went from delivering ad campaigns to delivering fresh, local food sourced from Saskatchewan producers. With online ordering, home delivery and over 1,000 local food products in our online store, we are realizing our goal of helping to build a more sustainable local food network.

Being an entrepreneur is sometimes about quiet successes, like being able to look back and realize that you have been supporting yourself and your family for over a decade without pay cheques, except for the one with your company name on it. We celebrate victories both large and small; we once threw a “million dollar party” for Zapwell Communications to celebrate reaching the milestone of one million dollars in revenue - but just in case you think we hopped a jet to the tropics, that million was the cumulative total of revenue over just more than five years.

If you are thinking about starting your own business, do your homework before you begin, take advantage of every resource available, both advice and financial, plan as well as you can, and then do it anyway. It's a choice that I could not have predicted that I would make after my Journalism School graduation, but life is far too short to leave interesting corners unexplored.

Local & Fresh

Local & Fresh delivers locally produced groceries to your home or workplace 6 days a week. You can select from over 1,000 local products and a range of delivery options like before and after work or on the weekend.

This success story is provided by Square One: Saskatchewan’s Business Resource Centre – offering services to help the province’s entrepreneurs successfully establish their business.

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