“For the past year with Baby Gourmet, we’ve been focusing on innovation and increasing revenue. Also, I’ve been mentoring at District Ventures, an accelerator set up by Arlene Dickinson. It’s very interesting. I love working with new start-ups. I wish I had those types of resources when I was starting my company 11 years ago. It’s about building their businesses. Some are in the growth phase, some are in the start-up phase. It’s helping them get on track for sales, distribution, investment — whatever their needs are at that time.
Also, since last year I have been working with one of the courses at SAIT. It’s a group in the Business Department and it involves working on a business plan. Truthfully, I think the mentorship I’m doing is for more personal satisfaction. It’s that reward of giving back. It’s really a personal gain.
And I’ve put more emphasis on travel and exploring now that my kids are a bit older. (They are nine and 10.) I did my first trip to Hong Kong in January, doing some exploration of expanding overseas. I haven’t done anything like that yet with the kids. But I want them to know that there is so much more beyond where we live. It’s learning about what is going on in the world and the opportunities you can have and the people you meet outside your comfort zone. I look forward to getting back to that.”
Jennifer Carlson, Founder and director, Baby Gourmet Foods Inc. | Business Administration ’98 | SAIT Distinguished Alumna ’16
Editor’s note: Jennifer Carlson is one of 37 Distinguished Alumni who have been recognized since the awards were launched 30 years ago.