Salad Creations Canada Featured in THE WOMEN’S POST MAGAZINE

Magazine Story:  Our Client Salad Creations Canada was featured in Women’s Post Magazine

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One afternoon earlier in the month, the publisher of Women’s Post burst into my cubbyhole at the office, cornered me at my desk and proceeded to describe a woman I absolutely had to get to know. There are many people I need to get to know, according to Sarah Thomson. “So, what’s special about this person?” I responded. Still hyped, Sarah told me to look up Brenda Bot and then get back to her. “I think you’ll like her story.”

It turns out that I do like her story. Brenda Bot made a huge lifestyle change, and gained a whole new business along the way, not to mention one very cool motorbike.

Brenda Bot is president of Salad Creations Canada. She and her daughter Jenna dined in a Salad Creations franchise in Florida while on holiday and liked the concept so much, Brenda initiated contract discussions to develop Salad Creations in Ontario. To overcome supply chain issues and regulatory obstacles, Brenda ended up acquiring the development rights for Salad Creations nationally, in December 2008, and now has a country-wide entity on her hands. By this past spring, her flagship location on Yonge Street in Toronto was up and running and Brenda is now working full-steam ahead on establishing franchises in cities across the nation. Three more are set to open before the end of 2009 – a second location in downtown Toronto at 150 King Street West, one in Erin Mills, and the other in Bramalea.

Brenda grew up in Sudbury. As with many entrepreneurs, her parents were business people and she worked alongside them from an early age. She is the owner of a property management company named after her grandmother Madeleine; she’s also a part owner of a construction company which was incorporated in 1992. She is still actively involved with both operations. Given her success with construction and with restoring and leasing properties, why sell salads?

Brenda tells me that her interest in healthier dining options came about roughly two years ago. She had lost 140 pounds and the fresh alternative to fast food, combined with the obvious nutritional value that Salad Creations offered appealed to her. After acquiring the rights to Salad Creations, she developed a domestic supply chain and then began to rebrand the business’ image to better reflect the Canadian marketplace.

With the successful rebranding and official launch of Salad Creations in Toronto, Salad Creations Canada received two national awards through the Canadian Franchise Association this May. At Brenda’s Yonge Street location, salads are built in a manner similar to a sandwich being created at a sub shop. “If people are provided a healthy dining choice, they will take it,” says Brenda.

“When I was losing weight, I never aimed for a set goal, choosing to lose weight until I reached a point where I could maintain my healthy lifestyle,” Brenda explains. “I think women are too caught up in body image… people get stuck in a place where they cannot move when they become overweight. I think people want to lose excess weight but cannot do so without educating themselves about healthier choices.”

I asked Brenda how she was able to make her lifestyle choices work over the long run. She said: “I started with one simple, healthier change. Then I added walking regularly for exercise, followed by the addition of more healthy choices. I chose healthier options in eating, without depriving myself of food, and added a variety of simple exercises to my weekly routine.” Perseverance in undertaking tasks and meeting her goals has been key to ensuring Brenda Bot’s success personally and in business. “Set your goals, have a passion for all you do, and shoot for the impossible,” Brenda advises me. “I go on instinct and I believe nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it.”

And the additional benefits of leading a healthier life? “Losing the weight has unleashed a whole new side of me,” enthuses Brenda. “I have a Suzuki C50T; it weighs 547 pounds and it has 800 ccs. I have a pink Suzuki motorcycle jacket that says ‘Ya, it is mine.’ I have a pink helmet, too!” Brenda got her motorcycle license two years ago, and loves it. Cool bike, cool story.