Early success was one surprise.
But then, being honoured with a local business award that comes with a $2,500 cash prize less than four months after opening her bakeshop took things to a whole new level for Laurie Burcham.
“It’s overwhelming but it’s a great vote of confidence,” she said.
Burcham recently received the Legacy Award during the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce’s annual Small Business Awards gathering.
This is the third consecutive year the chamber has presented the award, intended to help in the development of a local business.
“I was surprised to get it, just because there are so many great new businesses in Truro right now,” she said. “But the chamber have been so supportive since I opened. They’ve been willing to answer any questions I might have and let me know they are there for me if I need anything. So, in another way, I’m not surprised because they have been so supportive to myself as a new business.”
One reason she heard her business received the award, Burcham said, is because the products she provides are not available elsewhere in town. Everything she bakes is 100 per cent egg-free, peanut- and tree nut- free. Some products are also gluten free and some are vegan.
“I mean, there’s other bakeries and bake shops and coffee shops but I’m offering something that’s not already going on, particularly really, anywhere in our region,” she said. “To offer items that are for people with allergies and intolerances, you just can’t find places like that, so it’s unique in that aspect.”
The “vote of confidence” the award provides is solid indication that she is on the right track and that others in the community also believe in and support her business, she said.
“And just knowing that just gives you that, "OK, I’m doing well.' even though there’s bumps in the road and not every day is great..."
As important as that is to her self-esteem, the cash portion of the award came in pretty handy too.
“It’s huge. Starting a new business is very expensive and there are certain things you just can’t afford to get in the beginning and, one of those items was a freezer,” she said.
That meant bringing in her own freezer from home for the first few months.
“So, with that money I was able to go out and buy a freezer. And it may sound so silly to maybe a larger company or companies that may have been in business for years and years and years. But to me that little piece of equipment for here just meant the world to me. To know that we had the funds, four months in, because of this, to go get that.”
Burcham said she is “tucking aside” the remaining funds from her award in case she requires another piece of equipment or something breaks down.
At least, tucking most of it aside.
“And I did buy eight cookie sheets,” she laughed. “I had 14 of them but I did go out and get a few more. So, you know, just those little things that as a business owner you get so excited about, that you don’t mind spending a bit of money to go get those things.”
But the most fantastic aspect of it all, she said, is “to just feel the support in the community for a local business.
“And I’m excited to be a part of it.”
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Early success was one surprise.