SBC2013-L SS


Media Release

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) is pleased to announce the winner of the 2013 RDBN Startup Business Contest - Kelsey Price, Sawyer’s So Good Cupcakes located in Smithers.

Entrants provided a business plan introducing their new business or business idea. The entries were judged on the strength of their business planning. The other four finalists included:

  • Bakers Acres - Brandie Baker, Burns Lake
  • Eclectic-Printing - Carina Cameron, Vanderhoof
  • LU Yarn and Sew On - Linda Uchacz, Burns Lake
  • Taliflo Inc. - Tony Mondia, Smithers

The finalists presented a synopsis of their business plan at a Special Event Luncheon held in Burns Lake on October 24th. The audience was able to participate by rating the presentations, making up 10% of the scoring formula to determine the 2013 Startup Business Grand Prize Winner.

The five finalists each received a prize package valued at $1,800 in service and supplies. The winner’s package was valued at over $14,000 in service and supplies, including $3,200 in cash. The RDBN appreciates the many businesses and organizations that have made this contest possible through their generous sponsorship. A full list of sponsors and the prize packages are available at

“Congratulations to all the finalists. Small business is the backbone of our economy. We recognize the many businesses who support the contest and in turn support new business in the region. Congratulations to Kelsey who had the winning combination of a well written business plan and a top-notch presentation, earning her the prestigious title of overall Grand Prize Winner!” Bill Miller, Chair of the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako

“I would like to thank the Regional District for organizing and hosting such an amazing contest for new businesses. Also, a huge thank you to all of the sponsors; I appreciate each and every donation that was made. Winning this contest will have a positive impact on my new business in so many ways. Thank you!” Kelsey Price, Sawyers So Good Cupcakes

Finalist info

Sawyer’s So Good Cupcakes (Kelsey Price)—Winner

Kelsey Price grew up baking with her mom she has many years of customer service and human resource experience. Kelsey’s daughter , Sawyer is her inspiration and who the business is named for. Some of Kelsey’s recipes have been passed down from her Great Grandmother, and she strives to always control the quality of each and every one of the products that she offers.
Sawyer’s So Good Cupcakes opened in July 2013 in Smithers, selling: Cupcakes, cupcake bouquets, giant cupcakes, and special order cakes. Sawyer’s So Good Cupcakes unique selling position is to focus on fresh, local quality ingredients with no preservatives or additives. Future plans include expanding the product line to meet market demands (such as French macaroons, truffles, cookies etc.). Before opening, all of the sales were done through her home or by renting commercial kitchen space, which meant mostly pre-order sales. Having a store front has provided her customers the ability to purchase on impulse. Kelsey plans to open more stores in the Northwest in the next few years once she has proven her business model.


Bakers Acres Kennels (Brandie Baker)—Finalist

Brandie Baker is a Veterinary Technician born and raised in Burns Lake. She is known for her intense passion for animals. In addition to working 2 jobs, she volunteers regularly with local animal shelters and is an avid Cesar Millan fan. She proudly resides on the small farm called Bakers Acres with her boys, dogs, cats and many exotic and farm pets. Bakers Acres has allowed her to realize her lifelong passion for horses where she finds peace and serenity.
Bakers Acres Kennels provides a vacation for pets and a worry free travel experience for their owners. They offer animal health experience, safe housing, a relaxed and calm environment and lots of family oriented play time.


Eclectic-Printing (Carina Cameron)—Finalist

Carina Cameron was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. She is certified in all Adobe suite programs, including Photoshop and Illustrator, as well as, completed technical and imaging certification on Hewlett Packard large format plotters. Her future plans are to become a fully certified technician. Even though printing and graphics area huge passion of Carina’s, she also hs a hobby that most people think is crazy; She has been a “stunt monkey” for a Calgary based motorcycle stunt team called Canadian Chaos since she was 18; this one’s kind of hard to explain until you see pictures. So she will just leave it up to your imagination. After 8 years of employment with one of western Canada’s largest printing franchises, she was presented with an opportunity to open her own print shop.
Carina operated Eclectic-Printing as a home based business until June 2013, when she opened up a shop in Burrard Market Square, in downtown Vanderhoof. Eclectic-Printing specializes in Indoor Large Format printing including gallery wrapped canvas prints, high quality photographic reproductions, CAD/Map plotting, as well as, a wide range of graphic design, typesetting, laminating, and small format printing services.


LU Yarn and Sew On (Linda Uchacz)—Finalist

Linda Uchacz lives in Burns Lake with her spouse Ron. She has bookkeeping and accounting experience. She enjoys golfing and campint but her passion for quilting, knitting, crocheting and needlepoint have led her to own and operate Yarn and Sew On.

The store opened on June 2, 2013 and is located on the west side of Burns Lake. Yarn and Sew On stocks materials and supplies for crafts including: fabric for quilting, yarn for knitting and crocheting, supplies and patterns for needlework such as cross stitch and kits for beading, and many sewing notions. Supplies include patterns and kits and special tools that will appeal to a broad market spectrum. Using these products and services as a starting point, the store will continue to add other products as driven by the demands of our clientele. Our ongoing planned workshops include the basic and advanced methods of quilting, knitting, crocheting, needlework, beading and jewelry, candle making and many other crafts as they are requested by the community members. Our ongoing planned workshops include the basic and advanced methods of quilting, knitting, crocheting, needlework, beading and jewelry, candle making and many other crafts as they are requested by the community members.
There has not been a store for craft products in our community since 2008 and the community members are very responsive to this new store.


Taliflo Inc. (Tony Mondia)—Finalist

After receiving his degree from McGill University in economics, Tony completed an internship with a rural microfinance institution in Bolivia. Since then he's written reports on micro-credit funds, worked in precious metals industrial and commodity trading, developed credit risk systems for a multi-national foreign exchange dealer and as the loans analyst for a non-profit lender. He's a mentor with the Canadian Youth Business Foundation and has facilitated the Junior Achievement company program for local high school students. Most recently he's been volunteering his time through the Startup Smithers community and making delicious craft beer.
Taliflo Inc. empowers businesses that desire improved customer and vendor relationships and more autonomy from financial institutions. Its B2B software platform enables businesses to record that which is or will be owed between them and their customers or vendors on a jointly administered virtual ledger. This reduces credit administration costs and miscommunications, while increasing credit worthiness and financial flexibility.