In 2018 Elijah Mack-Stirling, just 22 years old, fulfilled his dream by becoming an entrepreneur and the very first Kekuli Cafe franchise owner. With its official slogan, “Don’t panic… we have bannock,” Kekuli Cafe Merritt is listed as one of the best places to eat in town. Kekuli Cafe Merritt provides a traditional Indigenous ambience with light pow wow music and First Nations art while reflecting the owners’ passion for cooking and creating a space where all are welcomed and acknowledged. Kekuli Cafe Merritt offers employees flexible schedules and encourages them to pursue opportunities to develop their talents and skills. With a focus on community service, Kekuli Cafe Merritt opens its doors to patrons for a free breakfast and dinner on Christmas Day and donates to local groups, homeless shelters, and sporting organizations through the friendship centre movement.