Lasting Impact - Lemon and Lime Health Shoppe
Raised by an entrepreneurial mother and a bodybuilding father, Leah Tracey had the seeds of Lemon and Lime Health Shoppe sown inside of her since childhood. Health and nutrition were frequent discussion topics in the family home, inspiring Leah to pursue a career in the field. She initially enrolled in nursing school, but found it wasn’t quite the path she wanted to follow…
2013 saw Leah accepting a position at the health food store Healthy Choices in the west-end of St. John’s. Unbeknownst to Leah, this was actually her first step on a journey to self-employment. She immersed herself in her work, and advanced her education by enrolling in the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, where she earned a diploma in Natural Health and became a designated Registered Holistic Nutritionist. During her 5 years working at the store, Leah built a strong relationship with her customers and developed a reputation for exceptional service and product knowledge.
However, staff and customers alike were surprised when the storeowners announced they were closing the business in 2018. After 5 years of dedicating her knowledge and passion to the business, Leah found herself unemployed and collecting Employment Insurance Benefits.
In spite of this, Leah still believed in the original business concept and knew there were no other businesses in the area serving that customer base. Even better, a retail location became available in the very same strip mall that housed the former shop. Leah knew it was time for her to seize the opportunity and become a small business owner.
She approached Metro Business Opportunities for assistance launching her business vision. MBO’s Development Officers connected her with relevant programs to help facilitate her business dream. Since she was receiving EI-Benefits, Leah qualified for MBO’s Self-Employment Assistance Program, allowing her to continue receiving benefits during her first year in business while accessing critical business management training. She also received start-up capital from Impact, that was then leveraged into additional financing from Kick$tart.
With her living expenses and capital financing secured, Leah was setup for business success and opened her retail store Lemon and Lime Health Shoppe in the summer of 2018! Since opening, Leah has been networking and building partnerships with like-minded entrepreneurs to grow her customer base and value-added services. Now Leah is able to enjoy the independence of being a business owner, while also reaping the many rewards of her hard work.