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Making a pivot in the face of challenges

In the spring of 2018, Dave decided he wanted to transition out of the construction industry and into the food truck industry. When he told his wife Lizzie about his decision, she said: “you are bonkers” but within three weeks he had purchased a new truck and parked it in front of their house, ready to start his new career path.  But then Dave took his own life.

Lizzie was left with a void and a “hunk of metal on her driveway.” When she was able to lift her head up, her first question was what are we going to do? Her daughter told her that they were going to make it work.

Lizzie knew that she wanted to start a business selling baked potatoes and soups out of a food truck, but she didn’t know where to begin. “I was really fumbling,” she says, “I was going around and around in circles and I spent the year, going around and around in circles.”

Then a friend suggested she talk to Momentum to get help with her business idea. She enrolled in the Self Employment program and found purpose and direction.

“Food trucks are risky businesses and they are really only operational for certain months of the year. I had to figure out how to make my business a year-round operation,” Lizzie says.

With Momentum’s support, Lizzie found a way to sustain her business with a listing on healthyhunger.ca, a website that lists caterers and restaurants that offer food delivery to schools. She created a solid business plan to fill a gap in the market, providing a healthy food option for lunch. The new company, named SouperSpudz, had already received interest from local companies, and Lizzie was finally feeling optimistic about starting her business.

Then COVID-19 hit.

All opportunities were disappearing for SouperSpudz. She was ready to launch but there wasn’t a clear way forward. Her coach at Momentum encouraged her to “pirouette” her business and she decided to try to sell her soup online. Now SouperSpudz has online ordering and has created an immune boosting soup, with delivery to your door.

Lizzie and her daughter have managed to fulfill Dave’s dream, with their own social enterprise spin. Once they launch, a portion of the sales of every baked potato goes to the Centre for Suicide Prevention and a portion of the sales of soup goes to support a local charity that helps women and children at risk.

Lizzie took out a microloan with Momentum to support her business and says that “it came at the right time.”

“I don’t know what I would have done without Momentum’s help. They opened my eyes to so much. I don’t know if I would be here talking to you about my business without Momentum.”

Check out CTV’s News Coverage of Liz as an Inspiring Albertan.

Are you looking for support for your business? Call Momentum’s business support helpline and access professional coaches and tailored feedback.

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