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Climbing the Ladder: Grow Your Small Business into Big Opportunity

7700 Minoru Gate, Richmond

Climbing the Ladder: Grow Your Small Business into Big Opportunity

Start with the lending, legal and accounting advice you need​

Thursday, November 29th, 2018 from 1-4:55pm, doors open at 12:30pm

Location: The Performance Hall at The Richmond Public Library & Cultural Centre 

at 7700 Minoru Gate, Richmond (View Map)

In Partnership with Farm Credit Canada and The City of Richmond


Hear from the experts!

Ready to take your business to the next level? Join FCC, the BC Food Processors Association and the City of Richmond at a special event for local entrepreneurs. During this panel discussion with other business owners who’ve scaled up their businesses, you’ll also hear from a lender (Chantall Keely of FCC), lawyer (Ally Bharmal of Fasken) and accountant (Gurpreet S. Rai of KPMG). They’ll share the tips and strategies that lead to success. Get real-life examples about what works in the food business. Learn about options including:

  • Co-packing – outsource your production as you ramp up your sales and marketing
  • Leasing – increase your in-house production, while leasing your facility and equipment
  • Purchasing – move to a full-scale operation with sole property and equipment ownership



12:30pm         Registration and refreshments

1:00-1:05pm  Welcome and Introductions with James Donaldson, CEO and Executive Director, BCFPA

1:05-1:10pm  Blaine Gorrell, District Director, Farm Credit Canada

1:10-1:15pm  Katie Ferland, Business Development Liaison, City of Richmond

A panel discussion with Gurpreet S. Rai of KPMG, Ally Bharmal of FASKEN, and Chantel Keely of Farm Credit Canada, moderated by James Donaldson

1:15-2:00pm  Using a Co-packer

  • Catherine Anderson of Hidden Garden Foods Ltd, and April May Bellia of Granola Girl shares their story as co-packer and co-packee
  • Panel Discussion: The legal and financial considerations when scaling up to co-packing
  • Questions from the audience

2:00-2:45pm  Leasing Your Facility

  • Ana Silva, CFO of Daiya Foods
  • Panel Discussion: The legal and financial considerations when scaling up to leasing your facility
  • Questions from the audience

2:45-3:00pm  Break

3:00-3:45pm  Owning Your Facility

  • Jim Pratt, CFO and Director, TIMIA Capital Corporation and BCFPA Chairman of the Board of Directors
  • Panel Discussion: The legal and financial considerations when scaling up to owning your facility and manufacturing all of your own products
  • Questions from the audience

3:45-4:45pm  Networking, Refreshments Served


Coffee is sponsored by 

Food and Refreshments are catered by


Mini caramelized onion and goat cheese tarts

Assorted veggie platter with house-made roast garlic and lemon hummus

House made taro chips with smoked tomato salsa

Meet OurSpeakers

On the Panel: 

Chantal Keely is a Relationship Manager with Farm Credit Canada in Abbotsford, B.C. Growing up on a small farm in northern Saskatchewan inspired Chantal to continue her education in Agriculture. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan. Chantal has been with FCC for 6 years, and successfully manages a broad portfolio of diverse customer accounts consisting of manufacturers, wholesalers and many other unique business models. 

Gurpreet S. Rai is an assurance partner in KPMG’s Enterprise practice at the Burnaby office. He has over 13 years of experience working with private entities, many in the consumer markets sector, including retailing, manufacturing, wholesaling and distributing, retail and real estate related companies, advising them on various aspects of their business. In addition, Gurpreet is a Board Member and Treasurer for the Fraserside Community Services Society.

Ally Bharmal is a legal partner at Fasken. His growing practice focuses on corporate and commercial business advice for a variety of clients, with an emphasis on the technology sector. Ally also has extensive experience and a particular interest in the food sector, including natural food products. He provides legal counsel to food industry clients with respect to corporate matters, research and development, food processing and manufacturing, confidentiality agreements, quality agreements and delivery.

Guest Speakers:

April May Bellia a wife and proud mother of 3 teenagers. Her company, Granola Girl was founded in 2008 and later incorporated in 2011. In 2017, April launched the Granola Girl Foundation, a fundraising platform to provide scholarships for youth in the areas of girl empowerment and entrepreneurship. April is also a co-founder of Serendipity Tea Party and Good in the Hood, heart based networking events. Since 2015, April has been serving her community as a life coach and start-up business consultant. She is passionate about finding spirit, freedom, truth, and love in all the work that she does.

Catherine Anderson is the founder and CEO of Hidden Garden Foods Ltd. Catherine Anderson is a former lawyer turned food entrepreneur, who started Hidden Garden Foods in 2012. Hidden Garden manufactures a line of vegetable based cookies that are sold in retail locations across Canada and internationally. In recent years Catherine launched Canadian Co-Packing, a the co-packing division of her business that manufactures a variety of products for other local food businesses.

Ana Silva is the CFO and has been with Daiya Foods. Ana started her career in Environmental Engineering and switched to Accounting/Finance over 25 years ago. Ana is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA/CGA), and holds an Honors Bachelor of Commerce degree and a MBA.

Jim Pratt had held various positions over the years, including CFO and ultimately CEO prior to selling the company to an NYSE listed company in 2010. Prior to joining Mazza Innovation as President in August 2017, he was Co-Owner of Prosnack Natural Foods, makers of healthy snack foods.  Jim has served as a Director of the Food Innovation Centre of BC, the Food Processors of Canada, Timia Capital, as Chairman of the Functional Foods Alberta Centre of Excellence and is the current Chairman of the BC Food Processors Association.


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Climbing the Ladder, Nov 29