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Okanagan film team strive to support local entrepreneurs with documentary

A mother-daughter team from the Okanagan is on a mission to help small business owners by putting them in the spotlight.

Renee Braun, with her mom Wendy McAlpine, has launched a Meet Your Makers campaign to help them create a documentary featuring local businesses.

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“We need to keep small makers afloat and really show off that these are our creators in our community,” said Braun.

“Let’s support them through this hard time and make sure they are alive because we want to come back to them for years after.”

The duo is planning on featuring 10 Okanagan entrepreneurs in their documentary that they hope will be picked up by major streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.

“These businesses have been pivoting hard, creating new things and finding new ways to get their things to market. The market disappeared for a while and then it was only open to food and some of our makers are in the market but don’t have food,” said McAlpine.

One of the businesses to be profiled is Jaide and Joel’s Baking Co. run by high school sweethearts Jaide Hatfield and Joel Murga, with the help of their family. Together they create gluten-free and vegan delights for customers with restricted diets.

“When we first started this business we really wanted to help people with their allergies; whether it was gluten, dairy or eggs,” said Murga.

“A big thing for us is seeing the customer’s looks on their face or when children come in and ask if everything is gluten-free and vegan and they get so excited and that’s really why we do it,” said Hatfield.

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After hitting a crossroads the business owners had to make the choice to pivot from commercial baking to opening up their own storefront last year and the community has rallied around them as they pivot again and again to stay in accordance with Public Health Orders.

“Everything that is coming up [during the pandemic] takes a huge emotional toll and you don’t realize it until you stop and realize wow this is really difficult,” said Hatfield.

“It’s almost like we don’t have time to worry about it because we need to worry about the business to make sure it doesn’t go under,” said Murga.

To learn more about the Meet Your Makers campaign and the businesses involved visit their fundraising website.

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