For more than a decade, Thunder Bay’s Eat Local Pizza has been using local food to make a difference in the community.

eat local logoFounded by entrepreneur Jim Stadey, Eat Local is dedicated to giving back. The business not only provides pizzas, lasagnas, pastas and panzerotti with locally-sourced ingredients, but Eat Local also regularly donates food to local charitable organizations.

To provide more information about Eat Local, and some insight into entrepreneurship in Thunder Bay, Jim Stadey spoke to the CEDC for Small Business Week.

  • What started you on the entrepreneurial journey?

○     I realized I needed to build myself a mechanism to be able to achieve my goals and that a conventional career was not going to be able to do that.

  • Where did you turn for assistance/mentoring?

○     I have had various mentors in my life, but they came naturally. My father, and one of my first bosses, would be the two main mentors I still draw wisdom from.

  • What were some of the biggest life lessons you’ve learned along the way?

○     There have been many hard and lasting lessons I have learned on the journey as an entrepreneur. I think they most important ones are to rely on your own resilience, not make excuses or let other people’s excuses justify giving up when things are hard, and to accept that everyone has at least one good idea.

  • Why Thunder Bay?

○     I was born here, most of my family lives here and this community has always supported me. It is big enough for everyone to make a living and small enough for people to make a difference.

  • What advice would you give to someone who’s just started, or is thinking of starting, their own entrepreneurial journey?

○     Don't listen to the advice of pretend entrepreneurs or people who have not owned their own business.

  • What was something that was unexpected in this journey?

○     I was successful.

  • What was the greatest moment in this journey?

○     The moment I realized that I was going to be able to pay my bills and have something left over, in that moment I had found freedom.

  • If you could be a food, which would it be?

○     Pepsi.

  • What is your business’ short pitch?

○     A business does not need a pitch, that is the same yard sale attitude that people give as generic advice. Business has a soul, a set of ethics and a mandate how to exist, something like a "short pitch" is like trying to encapsulate a family member in a single sentence. If you operate your business according to the best practices you believe in, the pitch will be inherent in everything you do.

For more about Eat Local Pizza, visit eatlocalpizzapos.com.

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