Success Stories

The Blackberry Kitchen - Mission, BC

Kerry Martin moved from chef to business owner in 2011 when he and Laurel Exner opened the Blackberry Kitchen in Heritage Park. "We started small, but the restaurant grew in popularity very quickly," said Kerry. The location was originally designed to be a tea house, but as a popular full-service restaurant the kitchen was too small and there was not enough storage. The association that managed the park could see the challenges and made plans to expand the building. "The association that ran the park started renovations in our 2nd year of operation, but they were funding the renovations as they were able to raise money," said Kerry, "and at one point we were only able to operate with a lunch menu because the vent hood did not meet fire code." So, in 2014 Kerry and Laurel opened a second restaurant in Mission, Martin's Downtown, where they could continue to operate as a full-service restaurant. Both restaurants continued to be popular and noted for the quality of food and service.

Once the renovations at the Blackberry location were complete they were operating two full-service restaurants and having both locations became overwhelming. "We are very good on the operational side of our business," said Kerry, "but we were so involved in the daily operation that it was easy to get behind on the finance end of the business." Kerry and Laurel needed to make some major decisions about how they were operating, and Community Futures helped them look at the financial performance of their business. Community Futures was also able to provide a loan to the business, so Kerry and Laurel had the funds they needed to complete their business transition. "I would recommend any body starting a business should talk to Community Futures ," said Laurel.


Community Futures British Columbia
C230-7871 Stave Lake Street
Mission, BC  V2V 0C5

About Community Futures

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