The Year I Helped Start a Business, Created My Dream Job and Changed My Lifestyle

Updated: Mar 25, 2020

PlantEd Co-Founder Georgia Fox never had any plans to become a vegan entrepreneur running a cooking business. How did she get here? This is her story.

By Georgia Fox

Georgia beams on the day her and Jackie found their new Community Cooking Workshop space.

Back in 2017, I was in school, working a part-time job. Like a lot of people, I was in no way tuned in on what I was eating and how it was impacting the environment. Sure I ate what I assumed to be a relatively healthy diet, incorporating the "4 food groups" we were so religiously taught in elementary school. My family grew up eating your typical meat with a side of veggies as the main staples. I was also really into environmentalism at the time, I took several courses related to the topic in university, read up on different movements, joined a club... and I thought I was really working towards making a difference - then I met Jackie, and my perspective on the world was forever changed.

Day of the Climate Strike at Carleton University.

I met Jackie in the first few years of our time at Carleton University. At the time Jackie had started an initiative called "Cooking with Jackie B," which brought people together once a week at her home in the Glebe to cook meals together in her kitchen. At the time she was vegetarian, soon to be vegan and through the "Cooking Meetings" she was working to break down the stigma around plant-based eating and create community. I attended these often - enjoying the opportunity to try new food and meet new people.

In April 2019, a month before Jackie was due to graduate, we got together one afternoon and she ended up pitching me her idea to turn the cooking meetings into a business and in order to do this, she wanted ME of all people to be her business partner! As soon as the words left her mouth I was stunned into silence. I honestly had no idea this was coming and no idea what to say. Never in my entire life had I thought about becoming an entrepreneur, or even working in the food industry. However, Jackie and I ended up talking for hours about the possibilities we saw with creating a business model based around sustainable cooking. Then there was the scariest part of all... I wasn't vegan and I wasn't planning on becoming vegan anytime soon. Jackie was totally aware of this and assured me that if I partnered with her there would be no expectation of me to become vegan. Me being the cautious, calculated person I am, told her I would need some time to think about it. I couldn't keep the ideas at bay, I had never been so excited by something in my life, and a couple days later I told her I was in.

One year later, our business is thriving and believe it or not, I am three months vegan and couldn't be happier. Don't get me wrong it has been challenging and the transition has not been perfect. I've tripped up, as I've been told everyone does at first, but I'm working hard and I'm trying. I have to admit it has also been a fairly gradual process with the biggest hurdle being the mental shift I had to make throughout the year of working with Jackie and being exposed to this new way of living. I came to find that once you get past your own mental blocks and biases towards veganism, the entire thing becomes a lot easier to understand and implement into your own life. It also doesn't hurt that I now have access to a host of amazing recipes that we try out at our Cooking Workshops every few weeks.

If someone had told me just 1 year ago that I would soon become a vegan entrepreneur running a cooking business, I would have told them they were crazy!

Honestly, if someone had told me just one year ago that I would soon become a vegan entrepreneur running a cooking business, I would have told them they were crazy! This is not something I planned or dreamed of, but it is something I am beyond proud of how far I've come and I can't wait to see what else this journey has in store for me.

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