Canine Cabin in Thompson is the recipient of a $5,000 grant that owner Tori Cordell won during the 2015 Vision Quest conference in Winnipeg. Cordell heard about the Vision Quest application for rural businesses, and applied, but didn’t think it would go anywhere. “I entered it really last minute but they ended up extending the deadline, so it wasn’t as nice as I wanted it to be, so I didn’t think I was going to get in. I did though, which was great.”
The 22-year-old business owner started her business in October 2014 because she believed it was needed in the city. “I wanted to open it because there wasn’t really anywhere in town if you have a long day at work, a lunch meeting, and then something in the evening, to be able to leave your dogs so they weren’t in a kennel all day.”
When in Winnipeg Cordell brings her dogs to doggy day cares, and wanted Canine Cabin to offer that option as well. Dogs have the opportunity to play together, as well as be groomed, and put into an overnight kennel.
Vision Quest is an annual trade show and conference that helps promote aboriginal business, community and economic development. Cordell had to present her business plan with her finances, as well as a presentation in front of judges and an audience.
One-third of the score was based on the presentation, one-third on the business plan, and the final third was based on the audience and what they thought. Cordell says although she was nervous during the presentation, it was great meeting and learning about other small businesses, and says there’s even some she’ll take advantage of in the future for the business.
The money Cordell won has gone to business start-up costs, and she says she’s finally out of her debt from the start-up, since she won another grant last year for young entrepreneurs. Cordell also won a print that is now proudly hanging up on the wall at her business.