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In Focus is our gift to the community. A way for us to help show our recognition for the people, businesses, and organizations that help make our city great. The team at KelownaNow.com is passionate about this community and the people that make it amazing. We want to show our friends, neighbours, family and colleagues that we notice them and the fabulous things that they do.
What is your name?
Allisha Heidt and Rochelle Minagawa
Where are you from and how long have you lived in Kelowna?
Allisha is originally from Bobaygeon, Ontario and moved here nearly ten years ago. Rochelle is from Calgary, Alberta but she grew up and went to high school in Kelowna and moved back three years ago - because there’s just no place like the Okanagan!
Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
Rochelle’s favourite person to spend time with is her husband, Takumi, because he’s always up for an outdoor adventure. They love cycling and camping in the summer and like to hit the ski hill in the winter.
Allisha loves spending time with her husband too. They love spending time outdoors, hiking mountains and exploring new areas in B.C and around the world.
If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
If Allisha could take off anywhere right now it would be to Santorini, Greece. The architecture, history, beaches and cuisine are all so exquisite and she would love to see the birthplace of democracy.
Rochelle would tag along with Allisha to Greece and see Athens and Crete, where her Grandmother is from.
What is your favourite local store in Kelowna and why?
Allisha loves shopping at Unless Market on Bernard avenue. This store is filled with products made by local artisans, crafters and food producers from all over the Okanagan. Rochelle loves grabbing a hot cuppa tea at Bean Scene.
What is your favourite activity?
For Allisha, it is definitely tied between spending time on her paddle board and going to a sweaty, yoga practice. Rochelle loves a challenging hike to energize, and a calming yoga class to stretch and recover.
If you had to choose: pizza, tacos, or burgers?
Allisha would have a really hard time choosing but, at the end of the day, a juicy grass fed burger would win. Rochelle would go for a slice of pizza with a tall glass of beer.
What is a hidden gem you enjoy in the Okanagan?
There’s a beach access down Lakeshore that not many people go to that Allisha loves. It has the best view, sand and swimming area. Hiking Pincushion in Peachland for Rochelle, because it’s a great hike with a beautiful view.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
For Allisha, it’s definitely losing her bathing suit bottoms when bailing while tubing on a lake. On Rochelle’s first day of university, she tripped carrying an entire tray of food in the cafeteria. It was noisy, messy and totally embarrassing!
What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
The most inspiring thing for Allisha has definitely been starting MotherLove Ferments. It’s gone from being a passion, to an idea and now a successful business. Growing this business really showed Allisha that you can do anything you put your mind to as long as you have passion, inspiration and dedication.
Tell us your favourite childhood memory.
Allisha’s favorite childhood memory was going on exchange to South Africa. It was her first time travelling overseas on her own. She was bitten by the travel bug pretty early in life and has now travelled to 22 countries. Rochelle went on her first camping trip when she was 3 months old and many of her best childhood memories are around a campfire with her friends and family.
Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
Allisha has spent most of her volunteering time abroad. She volunteered with the One Person Project, an organization based out of Summerland that delivers medical and educational aid to communities in Rwanda and Tanzania. Most recently, Allisha spent a week volunteering for I-India in Jaipur, India. This organization gives vocational training to children living in the slums.
Rochelle coaches track and field with the Okanagan Athletics Club here in Kelowna. Being involved in sport for most of her life, there were so many coaches that invested in her athletic career, so she enjoys giving back some of her time to help young athletes succeed.
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
Though it may seem cliche, Allisha would wish for peace on earth. It seems like news feeds and media are filled with horrific details of war, devastation, famine, and more. It would be amazing to know that every child had food to eat, shelter above their heads, clothes on their back, access to education and, of course, love.
What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
We both love hitting the beach! We’re so lucky to live in the most beautiful part of the country that is host to endless kilometres of beaches and lakes.
Where would you sneak away to in Kelowna to spend some time alone?
For Allisha, this is definitely Knox Mountain. A good hike in nature is the perfect way to reset, rejuvenate and revive yourself. Rochelle would hop on her bike and ride around East Kelowna. The beautiful views and fresh air are a great way to clear the mind.
Where would you like to see positive change in Kelowna and why?
For Allisha, affordable housing is something that Kelowna could spend more resources on. Rental rates are ridiculous and occupancy is nearly nil. It would be nice if the city could designate more development that was reserved for those in lower socio-economic brackets. Rochelle is happy to see more and more bike lanes being added around Kelowna and would love to see even more connecting the city. More safe bike paths encourages people to be healthier, more environmental and it saves money.
If you could be granted one wish for work or in life, what would it be?
This is easy for Allisha. It would be to be happy, healthy and travel to every country in the world with her family. Similarly, Rochelle would wish for a long, happy and healthy life to positively impact the community around her.
Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.
Allisha and Rochelle both go by their middle names. Allisha’s first name is Elliz and Rochelle’s is Anna.
What is the name of your business/organization?
MotherLove Ferments Co.
What does your business do?
MotherLove Ferments offers craft kombucha, infused with locally grown fruits and herbs. In addition to making the best kombucha available in the Okanagan, MotherLove Ferments also shares their passion for fermentation by hosting fermentation workshops, and selling home brew starter-kits to support health and wellness efforts at home.
Where can people find your business online?
Why did you get into/start this business?
We started MotherLove Ferments so that we could share with others the power of probiotics, and inspire others to take charge of their health. We also wanted to have a flexible schedule that allowed us to spend time with our family and fill our lives with the things we love to do.
What is the goal of your business?
Our goal is to help people take control of their gut health with the power of probiotic-rich fermented products. Unlike many products available, MotherLove’s kombucha is raw, organic, and rich with beneficial enzymes and probiotics. It helps to achieve balance in the gut that is often compromised due to medication, alcohol, poor nutrition, and even genetics.
What has been your biggest struggle either in work or life?
Our biggest struggle is the work-life balance. As new moms and CEO’s of a successful new business, it can be challenging carving out time for family, friends, health and wellness. But both of us agree that our business will never be as successful as we want it to be if we don’t spend time doing and experiencing the parts of life that feed our passions and nourish our souls.
If you could start all over again would you do things the same or would things be different?
Every moment, every action and every experience has made us the individuals that we are today. We are both proud of the many hats that they wear as mothers, wives, entrepreneurs and global citizens. So what would we do different? Nothing! Our choices have gotten us to where we are today and we wouldn't replace the journey for anything.
Why do you think it is important to shop local?
We believe that it’s important to contribute to the local economy in order to support and preserve a thriving community. Shopping at the farmers market, eating local and buying from small business owners creates a closer connection to those who offer the goods and services that we use everyday and decreases our dependence on external factors.
My nomination for the In Focus spotlight is:
We nominate Giulio from One Big Table. The local food movement that he is creating in Kelowna is amazing. One Big Table pop up dinners are a unique social experience and Giulio’s creations make food and flavours an adventure that you don’t want to miss out on!
We encourage you to leave your comments and words of support below and submit your own nomination by clicking HERE. You are also welcome to submit a form of your own by clicking HERE. Thank you, Kelowna.