Every small business has a backstory, and as more shoppers are moving from in-person to online, so too are tales of entrepreneurs who have become part of their communities’ backbone.
These stories are the basis for a new initiative that aims to generate awareness for small businesses, making use of the many memories made along their business journey.
Vernon’s BX Press Cidery and Orchard is one of 25 businesses across Canada included in the Before the Business booklet.
Officially launched on May 19 by Toronto-based Lexicon Financial Group of Raymond James Investment Counsel, Before the Business promotes Canadian entrepreneurs through the power of storytelling.
There is no cost to any of the businesses profiled in the booklet, whose creators are only looking to help them during a challenging time.
“Each business was referred by someone in our network because it made an impact on their life. Maybe they’ll have an impact on yours as well,” reads the Before the Business website.
The story of BX Cidery begins in 1946 when Frank and Anna Dobernigg brought their family to Vernon from Alberta. They purchased the orchard from pioneer and taxidermist William C. Pound, who had established it after buying the 6,000-acre ranch from Frances Jones Barnard of the Barnard’s Express, “an iconic stagecoach company that serviced the interior of B.C. during the famed Caribou Gold Rush and beyond.”
Current owners Melissa and Dave Dobernigg took over the orchard in 2000 and have been growing and expanding the business ever since. For the full story of BX Cidery and more stories from across the country, visit the Before the Business website.
The initiative began in May 2020 with a booklet titled A Small Book of Amazing Businesses that profiled 14 businesses. For creators Craig Swistun and Wayne Hendry, it was already abundantly clear that businesses would be dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Small businesses are the backbone of the economy and many have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. According to a recent survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), more than 200,000 Canadian small businesses could shut their doors permanently,” said Swistun, associate portfolio manager and founder of Lexicon Financial Group.
“We believe that sharing stories builds deeper, more meaningful connections between customers and the businesses they choose to support.”