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

Two-time Canadian Olympic boxer Mandy Bujold started Waterloo-Wellington Community Haul, a new initiative that allows residents of the area not only to donate to charity, but also to support local businesses.

Each month the box is filled with locally made products, including arts and crafts, clothing, specialties and culinary products, as different companies are featured each time.

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

“So there is this mysterious component.”

Those interested can make a one-time purchase or sign up for an annual subscription, with a percentage of each purchase going to local hospital foundations in Kitchener and Cambridge.

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Bujold said the idea allowed her to give something back to the people who always helped when they needed it.

“I think the idea behind it was just the fact that throughout my career, the small companies have always been the first to come when I needed support or help getting to a tournament or preparing for the Olympics. “She explained.

Also, she added, many people in the sports world are used to knocking on store doors to ask for support for children’s teams.

A press release for Waterloo-Wellington Community Haul found that 70 percent of the money stays in the community when people shop locally, while that number shrinks to 14 percent when shoppers shop at global conglomerates.

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

“And if you don’t buy your favorite sauce from your local grocery store, maybe buy it from someone who makes it here in the area and just keep some of that money locally.”

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

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

“It was just a really cool community initiative where we were like, ‘Hey, let’s try to imitate what they do and make this a reality here in our community.'”

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She said the group helped get Waterloo-Wellington Community Haul off the ground by sharing some of their insights.

“They helped us start all of the logistics that we need to think about,” said Bujold.

She said the wheels were on the move on the Waterloo-Wellington Community Haul even before competing in the Tokyo 2021 Summer Olympics last summer.

“So we’re finally starting it,” said Bujold. “So it was definitely a lot of work to get to that point, but hopefully it will pay off and hopefully people will love it.

“And yes, guys, get in touch!”

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

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