Welcome to the Edible Valley Podcast. This is Episode 178, and today we are with Sharon Janzen from Alderlane Farmhouse Bakery. Sharon grew up in Vancouver and always had an entrepreneurial flair, spending a lot of her time making and selling things—starting with sling-style baby carriers, which she made and then sold across Canada.
Then she moved to Thetis Island, as her husband got a new job at a children’s camp. Sharon decided to start experimenting with baking and selling cinnamon buns, thus laying the groundwork for the future Alderlane Farmhouse Bakery.
In 2000 she moved to Vancouver Island. After gaining more baking experience, she saw an opportunity to sell goods from a wicker basket in the schools and businesses throughout the valley. She started by placing a basket in the staff room at Miracle Beach Elementary and Black Creek Elementary, where teachers and staff paid for goods using the honour system. She then quickly moved on to selling at offices, car dealerships, and dentists, operating the entire business just out of the back of her Volkswagen Jetta.
Word of her delicious baking spread throughout the valley, and people started asking Sharon if she was at any farmers’ markets. In response, she scaled up her business and started selling at the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market. Her husband, who is a crucial support, retrofitted her equipment with wheels so she could operate efficiently and continue to grow her business.
We have a lot to share with you about this incredible story of Canadian entrepreneurialism. Edible Valley is very proud to introduce Sharon Janzen.
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