It takes a community to raise a business to its feet. One such example is Paul Nattrall, owner and operator of Mr Bannock Indigenous Cuisine and recipient of the 2019 Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Indigenous Business Award (IBA).
At the 2019 IBA presentation, Paul expressed his gratitude to the community that helped his business get to the point it is at today including his partner Kelly and the Squamish Nation. He acknowledged the start-up support received from Squamish Nation Trust “for guiding and helping me start the vision of showcasing Indigenous cuisine to the world.” He also thanked Small Business BC for “helping me plan and execute to get Mr. Bannock, Vancouver’s first Indigenous food truck.” Paul also gave a shout out to the media who helped him share his story and Vancity for providing social media and business strategy support.
Mr. Bannock creates Indigenous fusion food that focuses on Indigenous ingredients and traditional cooking methods and blends them with modern cuisine. For Paul, it’s about getting back to the roots that First Nations originally used. “I can share this food and create dishes that showcase traditional ingredients and cooking methods while showing my communities that this is our food, and this is what we can do with it.”
As a young entrepreneur, Paul set a goal to start his business and it took four years to get it all up and running. With the support of his family, his Nation, and business and financial organizations, he fulfilled his dream.
“If I can do it, then anyone else can!”
Today, Mr Bannock Indigenous Cuisine partners with local and Indigenous businesses, Spirit Bear Coffee, One Arrow Meats, to bring more fresh and local options to its customers, proving that it really does take a community to build a business!
The Indigenous Business Award is an annual program run by the BC Achievement Foundation to give voice to Indigenous entrepreneurship while modelling success. The program is currently in deliberations to select the recipients of the 2020 IBA program. Watch for an announcement of the awardees, coming this Fall.