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In Focus | Shannon Dawn Weststrate of goji’s Frozen Yogurt

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?
Shannon Dawn Weststrate

What do you always find yourself saying?
“Would you like to try a sample of our Coconut Milk or Almond Milk flavours?” … We’re proud of the real ingredients in our products. We’re so pleased to offer variety to our customers, as so many have special dietary needs (gluten-free, lactose-intolerant, vegan, no sugar added, etc). Goji’s yogurt contains natural ingredients that you can feel good about eating and we feel good about serving to you. Whether it’s a quick lunch with Coconut Milk, fresh fruit and granola ~ or an after dinner dessert … it’s the REAL food choice.

If you were to receive any existing public award, what award would you like to win?
Customer Service ~ making people smile is such a rewarding experience. When customers walk into goij’s Frozen Yogurt, they are walking into a warm, cozy, and inviting environment. Add to that some great customer service, and outstanding product, you’re bound to see our customers smile! We offer over 200 flavours and more than 50 toppings, the possibilities for a cup of yumminess are endless! Then, when I sit and visit with our customers, and they tell me the reasons they always come back to goji’s, that makes me smile … as it reinforces the fact that I know I’m doing something right.

Who inspires you?
My husband, Blaine, inspires me to be calm, rational, non-judgmental, and always to be respectful to everyone. My daughter, Dayna (13), inspires me to always laugh and look at the beauty in life ~ she has a crazy sense of humour and an unbelievable artistic side! My son, Matthys (11), inspires me to be fair, empathetic and sensitive ~ he has a soft side to him, and his heart is always open. But how do I stop there? My parents inspire me, my siblings inspire me, my friends inspire me … it’s just too hard to choose one!

What is one thing on your bucket list?
Travelling to Europe with my family is definitely on my bucket list … particularly Holland as my husband has a Dutch background, and has never been to Europe. It would be fantastic if his father (Opa) could join us, as I would love to hear his experiences as a child, while seeing first hand where he grew up.

If you had an enormous yacht, what would you name it?
‘Nauti-Dawn’, of course.

If you could foresee a single day of your future in its entirety, what date would you select?
Watching my husband walk my daughter down the aisle on her wedding day ~ which I hope is in the far, FAR future, as I’m not quite ready for my 13 year old to be married! But I imagine it to be a magnificent moment. I would also love to watch my son play sports at a higher level ~ I could watch him play baseball and hockey all day, every day!

What are you passionate about?
My children. Listening to my daughter play the piano or watching her shoot in Archery is unbelievable ~ her desire to do well and to watch her succeed is so rewarding! Athletics come so naturally to my son, and watching him play baseball or hockey definitely qualifies as me being in my ‘happy place’ ~ I would go there any day!

What has been your favourite day of your life, up to this point?
The birth of my children will always be a special memory … but meeting my husband changed my life forever. Best.Day.Ever. Oh, except for his failed attempt at a pick-up line, where he said he would teach me how to play the guitar … it’s been 20+ years, and I’m still waiting for that lesson!

What has been your proudest accomplishment?
I am a school teacher here in Kelowna, and watching the young minds of today blossom, is amazing. I can’t take credit for that, but it makes me so proud to be a small part of our children’s future. Last year, my husband and I opened goji’s frozen yogurt, and I was overwhelmed with the steep learning curve! I am proud of myself for continuing to keep teaching as a priority while at the same time, opening and running a successful small business. Add to that weekly lessons, practices, and games in archery, golf, hockey, baseball, swimming, volleyball, piano, managing hockey/baseball teams, and coaching extra-curricular sports at school … well, my days are a little full. But, it’s exactly what I love, so I wouldn’t change a thing!

Where is your favourite place to dine in Kelowna? What do you like about it?
Mon Thong Thai Food in Orchard Plaza. Superb food, great customer service, and the owner, Joe, is always so friendly and happy. We regularly choosee Mon Thong for our family dinners out, and encourage others to go, as well!

What is your favourite activity or event in Kelowna? Why?
My husband and I often go out on the town to listen to the local musicians. Nothing can beat the talent that Kelowna has! My husband is also in a band (Trinity’s Tattoo) and, although they haven’t played very much recently, I love watching him sing and play guitar on stage ~ not only does it sound great, I can see how happy it makes him.

What is the name of your business/organization?
goji’s Frozen Yogurt

What does your business/organization do?
‘goji’s Frozen Yogurt is not your average frozen yogurt shop. In fact, average is not a word we us at goji’s. We stand for excellence in everything we do. From serving our pure, delicious, probiotic-rich yogurt to welcoming customers to our vibrant, boutique-atmosphere, we are deeply committed to providing all who walk through our doors with a ‘mini-vacation’ that satisfies all of their senses. Whether they choose to take home a delicious smoothie-to-go, or stay a while and relax on the sofa by the fireplace, our customers know there is nothing ‘average’ about the goji experience – which likely explains why they keep coming back. Excellence is addictive ~ that’s goij’s!’

Where can people find you or your business online?
Our website is www.gojisyogurt.com.

Where can people find your business on Facebook?
gojis Frozen Yogurt Kelowna

What is your Twitter account?
@kelowna_gojis

What three qualities do you feel that your business/ organization exemplifies?
Outstanding Product … once you taste goji’s, you’ll understand what I mean
Friendly service … we take pride in welcoming our customers and offering them free samples at every visit
Amazing Atmosphere … sit on the couch/comfy chairs next to the fireplace, watch a sporting event on our new TV or listen to some music … or simply just hang out with your family and friends.

What would you like to say to your employees?
I can’t express enough how happy I am with how dedicated you all are. I know how busy your lives can be, whether with your families or with your school and extra-curricular activities, but you all seem to make time for goji’s and have remained faithful since you began. Most of you were hired before we even opened our doors, on September 7th, 2013, and I’m grateful that you are still with us today. To my Manager, Corinne Wilson, you have heard it from me before, but I’ll say it again and again … I could never have done this without you. Thank you!

If I could change one thing about Kelowna, it would be:
The winter weather wouldn’t get quite as cold! As much as I love the four seasons that Kelowna has to offer, I could do with some warmer winters. It’s -26 as I’m writing this today! I don’t mind the snow, and I certainly love all of our seasons, but let’s not get ridiculous! Turn up the heat, Mother Nature!

My choice for the Kelowna In Focus spotlight is:
Larry and Aline Nickel ~ from M&M Performance, and/or Steve Braconnier and Colin Gauthier ~ from A+ Automotive.

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!



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