Lyndsey Bell and Jay Valeri established Bigfoot Donuts in 2007. Lyndsey – daughter of Petronella and Mark Bell, Cree from my mother’s side and Scottish from my father’s side. Jay is son of Karin and Ed Valeri, Norweigen from his mother’s side and Italian-American from his father’s.
About the Business:
Having come from a century of entrepreneurship in the Comox Valley, it didn’t take long into my chosen path of Finance and First Nations Economic Development to develop my own dream of self determination. And in May of 2017, my husband, Jay, and I opened Bigfoot Donuts in the heart of Downtown Courtenay, in the traditional territory of the K’ómoks First Nation. We wanted to create a more fulfilling future for ourselves, with a fun, community oriented gathering place built around a childhood favourite, the humble donut. We have so much fun with flavour, handcraft every donut fresh from scratch each day, and do it with a focus on quality over quantity – we do donuts differently, the Bigfoot way!
Most proud of successes & best thing about our business:
There is a high failure rate in our industry and we’ve overcome that; we are proud everyday to be able to do what we do. Our greatest success is the way our community has embraced us and welcomed our business into their lives. Our mantra from day one has been “be good to our community, and they’ll be good to us” and that has proven exactly true. Our success is their success, we are here for them and because of them, and we will continue that way as long as they’ll have us.
Grateful/ Value / Appreciate:
We are extremely grateful to do what we love everyday and we don’t take that for granted. We hope through our story, other youth and especially Indigenous youth, will follow their own path to self-determination.
Advice you to aspiring entrepreneurs:
Have a plan! The best thing we could have done before we started was plan everything out. Once we opened, we didn’t have a moment to spare to work on the plan after the fact. Surprises will come up, so be adaptable with your planning but good preparation will have good results.
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