Updated: Jul 27
We're 1 year old! This isn't exactly what we thought our celebration would look like, but we're sharing our overview and highlights from the year nonetheless.
By Jackie + Georgia, Co-Founders
PlantEd Project is 1 year old! It's crazy to think that it's been an entire year since I first approached Georgia and we decided to turn what was once a passion project, previously known as "Cooking with Jackie B." into a sustainable social enterprise.
This one year mark hasn't come with the kind of fanfare that we'd planned for. Like other small businesses, covid-19 has caused us to experience some serious setbacks. We're super grateful for our health and safety, but we've both struggled to adjust and miss each other and our community immensely. We're taking this time to work on our online services, plan for future workshops and reflect back on the last year! We've both done and learned so much - here are some of the highlights.
In the past year, we ran 20 Community Cooking Workshops and 10 Private Cooking Workshops, allowing us to connect and cook with people of all ages and lifestyles. We made dozens of yummy plant-based dishes, like lasagna, enchiladas, cauliflower tacos, curries, soups, spring rolls, carrot cake, coffee cake, brownies all of which inspired so many more plant-based meals in people's own homes.
We created an Ambassadors Program for our most avid supporters and others who expressed interest in helping us out in return for special offers and opportunities. We are so grateful for all of their continued support throughout the year and through these challenging times. A special thank you goes out to Maddy Crabtree and Sam Turgeon-Brabazon for attending nearly every Community Cooking Workshop we hosted - you guys bring such positive energy and so many lovely new people into the space - we're so grateful!
At the beginning of the year we had next to no idea how to run a business, but with a bit of help from the internet, and a lot of help from some local incubator programs, we were able to learn the basics. We graduated from two different programs at Invest Ottawa, where we learned the basics of running a business, from branding to bookkeeping, met lots of other cool entrepreneurs and some amazing mentors (huge s/o to Josh O'Reilly). Through these amazing courses, we were given the opportunity to pitch to a group of local entrepreneurs who granted us $5,000 to put towards scaling our business.
We were also given some awesome public opportunities to share our story throughout the year. I gave a guest lecture to a second year sustainability course at the University of Ottawa, Georgia was invited to speak on CKCU FM's radio program White Rabbit, we got to talk about our story on the Clear the Air podcast and I was selected as a Top 25 under 25 Environmentalist by the Starfish Canada for 2019/2020. All of these experiences have allowed us to reach new audiences, share recipes and destigmatize plant-based eating.
Most importantly, over the course of the year, we provided plant-based resources to hundreds of people both in person and online to help them make more sustainable choices in their kitchens. Although lots has changed over the last year, our goal to encourage more plant-based cooking and eating for the benefit of the environment and the animals definitely hasn't.
We had originally decided to give ourselves a year to try this out and it's safe to say that both Georgia and I are excited to continue working on PlantEd by scaling up our workshops and moving towards more online resources! Covid-19 has begun to expose massive flaws in our society and its current systems and we're committed to working towards a new normal, where our food is more sustainable, healthy and cruelty-free. We know plant-based living is the future and we can't wait to help making that transition easier for others by continuing to build a wonderful community and cooking delicious food!
Wishing you all the best,
xx Jackie & Georgia