Don’t panic…We have bannock!”
If you’re driving along the Coquihalla Highway by Merritt BC, don’t panic… there’s Bannock, downtown Merritt BC. An Indigenous owned Franchise, soon to be popping up across Western Canada.
Sharon Bond-Hogg knew she would franchise her business from day one, and now the requests are rolling in from all around British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and as far away as Ontario.
She and her husband, Darren, started serving bannock from a concession stand at Westside Daze in Westbank, BC, back in 2005. Sharon knew they were on to something when customers started lining up for the Indigenous treat that is a light, fluffy, fried dough made from local ingredients with delicious toppings like Saskatoon Berry, cinnamon sugar and maple glaze.
“I didn’t start out thinking Kekuli Café would be an Indigenous restaurant,” Sharon said, “but the need and demand was there.”
More permanent concession stands at a soccer field in Lake Country and a car wash in Westbank soon followed. During that time, the couple also found ‘day’ jobs – Sharon at Starbucks and Darren at Tim Horton’s – with the focus of learning all they could about coffee, assembly lines, customer service, corporate standards and product consistency.