Talk NewWest - Post Covid Businesses
This is the first in a new series that will include interviews and a talk show with various people
who are part of the public landscape of New Westminster. This episode is concentrating on three
business owners in New Westminster who against the odds started up a currently successful
business during the recent pandemic. The interviews look at the challenges for Zesty Lemon
Clothing Company owner Katerina Tsangorakis, Groove Cat Books and Records owner John
Hughes and Yum! Donuts owner Kim Collinshaw. Interviews cover the roadblocks to starting up a
business in New Westminster as well as the community support many of them experienced.
For all three owners, the support of the community as they faced challenges from both the
waning year of the pandemic and the obstacles of finding a location and making it work for them
was the biggest reward. Much of this support was garnered by all three businesses making good
use of social media to both reach out to the local community and to keep them in touch with
changes and events they planned to hold to help grow their followers. In the talk show portion,
they discuss and compare how each of them came to find their place in social media and why
they find it so valuable.
While acknowledging that the pandemic had an impact on retail, all three owners agreed that
they are pleased with the results of their startups. Kim of Yum! Donuts recalls the lineups on
opening week that left her exhausted. Katerina shares her doubts about her ability to continue,
even if successful, beyond her current five year lease. John agrees with Kim and Katerina that as
satifying as running your own business can be, it is a full time job and more.
Finally, at the end of the talk show, host Deni Loubert poses the question of what each of them
would do if the pandemic were to return. How would this affect their plans for their business.
Katerina's response that she would simply pivot to the needs of the situation is echoed by Kim
and John. Undeterred, they agree that they managed to start up a new business in the midst of a
pandemic and feel comfortable that they could keep this business going if Covid-19 returns to
wreck havok with retail again.