Catalina’s enthusiasm is contagious as her honest descriptions of being a woman operator of a food business takes us on her financial journey. Her parents started the business in 1989 and Catalina took over in 1993, She felt she was “thrown in the deep-end” and has been on a continual learning curve ever since. Her parents incorporated the company and the products were made by hand until 2007 when a large investment was made, and then the recession in 2008 wiped out 60% of her business. Caramoomel purchased ingredients for recipes from local farmers. She used various market channels to make sales. Catalina’s stories did not hold back on the lessons learned about spending money on marketing promotions. She found that demonstrations of products in retail settings provided her best returns. She volunteered for the local Community Futures loan fund committee, and accessed business and marketing planning tools from the Women’s Enterprise Centre. Catalina thanks the SSFPA for the listserve for members to ask and answer questions and provide other resources, and the HACCP plan grants that Caramoomel qualified for. She mentions that women co-operate with each other, and she hopes the SSFPA can organize a program for “women trading value for value.”
Due to family losses in 2019, and the Covid-19 effect, in summer of 2020 Catalina decided to close Caramoomel.