I think we're all familiar with the old saying, "It's not what you know, but who you know." This couldn't be more true for us as we build our business.
The relationships that we've made and continued to cultivate since the inception of Wild Mountain Chocolate have been integral to our business development.
In these months since we launched, we've enjoyed relatively rapid growth and it's due in large part to those generous local business owners and organizations that have embraced us and our Wild Mountain Chocolate from the get-go.
Right from the start, award-winning AG Valley Foods in downtown Invermere, has been in our corner. Owner, Sydney-Anne Porter, and her sons Eric and Greg have provided invaluable support in the evolution of our business.
Helping with taste-testing, competitive analysis, and branding experimentation has provided us with the information we've needed to move forward in our decision-making, both in product and brand development.
What began as a business relationship has evolved into a wonderful friendship, for which we are incredibly grateful. What's truly remarkable is that our story with AG Valley Foods isn't unique. This is the way Sydney-Anne and her family business operates day-to-day, with all of their local vendors.
At the helm of an incredibly successful Kootenay-based business, CEO and Co-Founder Elana Rosenfeld is committed to supporting local. Not only was our product on the shelves of the Cafe right away, but we have been the beneficiaries of valuable advice and vital roasting expertise.
Recognized as Canada's Best Place to Work, Kicking Horse Coffee has provided exceptional leadership building a business and brand upon ethical and sustainable business practices – an example we are working hard to emulate.
Invermere Farmers & Artists Market, organized completely by volunteers from the Invermere Legion, is another example of the exceptional local support we've received that means the world to our fledgling business.
Farmers Markets are a great way to launch a new product or business. In our case, this was our introduction to the marketplace and our opportunity to gain valuable exposure. It could not have been better for Wild Mountain!
A shady location has been vital to the quality of our product on market days and we are grateful for the sensitivity of the dedicated market volunteers to our needs.
The Invermere Farmers & Artists Market provides incalculable value for vendors, particularly for businesses just starting out, and makes every effort to ensure that the vendor experience rivals that of the visitors.
Further down the Valley, in Fairmont, we'd like to give a big shout-out to another local business that offered their support early on.
Restauranteurs, Adrian and Lara McCormack of From Scratch A Mountain Kitchen, eagerly set our product on their shelves. That wasn't all... throughout our early development Adrian and Lara provided invaluable palate expertise as well as their enthusiastic encouragement in launching our new business.
The list is no doubt longer, and extends to an open and encouraging public that embraced us without hesitation. For that we are intensely grateful!
To the businesses and organizations mentioned above, we extend a particularly warm 'thank you' as the entire experience has been made that much easier and so much more pleasant with all of you behind us.
We are beyond grateful!