Meet Aaron Webster. Aaron owns and operates Ebenezer Foods, a catering and hospitality business located near Bancroft. Currently Ebenezer Foods is made up of two parts: one involves acting as a catering service for a local golf course – Bancroft Ridge Golf Club – supplying meals for weddings and events, and the second is providing healthy microwavable meals for customers across Hastings County and beyond.
“Each meal is pre-prepared, healthy and balanced in terms of nutrition”, says Aaron. “The majority of our meals are gluten and dairy free and they’re packaged in vacuum sealed bags. They can easily be heated up in a microwave or in a pot and makes a great meal for busy families and people on the go”.
Aaron started his career in professional kitchens while completing his high school diploma. After high school he opted to complete a Bachelors in Psychology from the University of Waterloo and went in to the Health and Safety industry for 2 years prior to returning to Durham College to complete his Red Seal as a Journeyman (Chef).
“I grew up in Whitby and came here when I was around 14 years old working in a summer camp,” comments Aaron. “Recently my wife and I spent some time near Bancroft working on a two-month contract and instead of heading back we decided to stay full-time”.
“I chose to remain here in Hastings County because I saw an opportunity for a business here in catering. I also love how beautiful it is… my wife and I both love the outdoors. We just love the geography in this region. You can go to the grocery store, do all your shopping and then 10 minutes later be right on a beautiful lake”.
Soon Aaron hopes to hire at least one staff member to help with his expanding business. This will assist with the catering component while he focuses on the frozen products and marketing side of the business. Aaron also wishes to concentrate on the flash frozen gluten free and allergy conscious products, targeting young families, health conscious individuals and the local retirement community.
“Our new and improved website is coming soon, and that is where people can order a single meal or several meals and have them shipped directly to their home on a weekly basis”, adds Aaron. “What I’m doing at the moment is approaching the exercise gyms in the area to promote our service and healthy nature of our meals. Our products are healthy while just as convenient as a typical microwavable meal.”
Aaron says that he benefited from the assistance of the Small Business Centre advisors and completed their Starter Plus training program to develop a detailed business plan that will assist him with his future plans. Aaron has been awarded the Starter Plus grant which he will use to purchase the much needed equipment to freeze his meals. He is also working closely with Hastings County’s Small Business Coordinator Mark Hanley.
“Hastings County has been so supportive and I think I’m getting more support than I would have if I had started my business in the Greater Toronto Area”, comments Aaron.
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