NEDC Grant Success: Panago

As the NEDC continues to help Aboriginals and First Nations communities on Vancouver Island through grants and services it’s always important to celebrate the successes. Recently Christian and Carrie Olney received grant funding to aid them in becoming business owners. By working with a Business Development Officer they were able to receive support to help them achieve their dream of owning their own Panago store which opened in March of 2018.

With over 30 years of pizza innovation, starting here in British Columbia, Panago’s strong values and commitment to community and customer service played a huge role in the Olney’s decision to become part of the franchise. When asked what their biggest challenge was they said:

“Opening a new business is a big commitment that sometimes requires long days and early mornings to fit everything in.  We feel like we are a bit isolated as we spend the majority of our time at the store so, as a husband / wife team we’ve learned that we need to take a few minutes for ourselves to even fit in a quick dinner together that we don’t discuss work.”What made them choose Powell River?On our first visit we knew this was where we were meant to be.  Every time we visited we felt happy.” And as with starting any business, there are no magical secrets to success, it does take a little hard work and hustle. By maintaining their focus, they stay positive and always remember to take a little time for themselves, even if it’s just five minutes to breathe. They didn’t realize how much they would love being Franchisees, forging new relationships and connecting with other business owners to find ways to support and enhance their community. And the flexibility of owning their own business not only allowed them the flexibility to structure days around their daughter’s school, sports and when she needs them most, but also to participate in community events. Panago’s dedication to community engagement and excellent franchisees have helped it build its brand to more than 190 stores across Canada. Something to truly be proud of.

So what does the future look like at Panago in Powel River?  “Food equals love and serving up pizzas, helping a busy family put dinner on the table, it brings smiles. We are in the business of sunshine and happiness.  I’m not sure what the future holds for us, but I believe Panago will play a big role in it.”

Any final words?

“We are so proud to be part of the Powell River community, they have blown us away with their kindness and welcoming attitudes.  Our daughter has had the opportunity to join clubs and camps, and her school offers an amazing music program. … The small town vibe is incredible.”Next time you’re in Powell River, head on over to Panago on Barnet Street and say hi to Christian and Carrie Olney, you’ll be glad you did.