Alana Elliott is a true entrepreneur. She saw a need for a product and set about developing and manufacturing that product right here in the Cowichan Region. Since 2004, her product line has expanded from three flavours of granola bars to the addition of granolas, trail mixes and oatmeal cups. Her products are certified Kosher and all granola products and certified gluten free. After going soy free in June 2012, all products are now manufactured in a dedicated facility that is free of the top 11 food allergens, gluten, preservatives, colors, artificial flavors and GMOs.
“Starting a company without any background in business is like rowing a boat without an oar. A great idea for a destination and a lot of hard work are imperative but without having some basic tools, it can be pretty difficult to get any momentum.
That's where Community Futures became an important part of the growth of Libre Naturals (formerly Nonuttin' Foods). Right from the day that I decided to put my business idea into action, I began attending seminars and events at Community Futures so that I could begin to understand more about business. I attended everything from marketing to website seminars and took advantage of networking events to learn from others who were also going through the process of becoming entrepreneurs. As I hired staff, I also sent them to Community Futures seminars that I thought would increase their skills.
In 2006 I realized that our manufacturing processes were too inefficient to grow in the marketplace and so decided to replace our time intensive hand packaging with a packaging machine. After approaching our bank and a leasing agent for the machine, a board member from Community Futures suggested we look at getting our loan through their small business program."
- Alana Elliott
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