Kitchener Olympian Mandy Bujold's new enterprise supports local small business

Two-time Canadian Olympic boxer Mandy Bujold has launched Waterloo-Wellington Community Haul, a new initiative that will allow area residents to give not only to charity but also to support local businesses.

Each month the box will be filled with locally made products including art and craft pieces, clothing, specialty foods, and culinary goods as different companies are featured each time.

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“So when someone purchases a box, they’ll know who the vendors are in the box, but they won’t necessarily know the exact product,” the Kitchener native told Global News on Wednesday.

“So there’s that mystery component to it.”

Those interested can purchase on a one-time basis or sign up for a year’s subscription with a percentage of each purchase going to local hospital foundations in Kitchener and Cambridge.

Bujold said the idea allows her to give back to the people who always lent a hand when she needed it.

“I guess the idea behind it was just the fact that over my entire career, any time I needed support or I needed help to get to a tournament or to prepare for the Olympics, the small businesses were always the first people to step up,” she explained.

Besides, she added, many people in the sport world are used to knocking on the doors of business to ask for support for kids’ teams.

A release for Waterloo-Wellington Community Haul noted that 70 per cent of the money stays in the community when people shop locally while that number shrinks to 14 per cent when shoppers make their purchase at global conglomerates.

“My goal is to try to change a few buying habits,” Bujold said.

“And if instead of going to your local grocery store for your favourite sauce, maybe you’re going to buy it from someone that’s making it right here in the region and just keep some of that money local.”

Bujold said part of the inspiration for the box came from a group that has been putting out a similar box in Nova Scotia for over a year.

“We knew this group that was doing this box and it was working so well and they were raising a lot of money for their charities,” she said.

“It was just a really cool community initiative that we thought, ‘Hey, let’s try to mimic what they’re doing and make that happen here in our community.’”

She said the group gave a helping hand in getting Waterloo-Wellington Community Haul off the ground by sharing some of what it had learned.

“They helped us get started with all the logistics of what we have to think about,” Bujold said.

She said the wheels have been in motion on Waterloo-Wellington Community Haul even before she competed in Tokyo last summer during the 2021 Summer Games.

“So finally, we’re launching it,” Bujold said. “So it’s definitely been a lot of work to get to this point, but hopefully that pays off and hopefully people are excited about it.

“And yes, people, sign up!”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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