Vernon, Thompson-Okanagan

5 Employees

In Business Since 1995

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Anna’s Vitamins Plus Ltd

Vernon, Thompson-Okanagan

We are a proudly independent locally owned retail business in Vernon BC. We believe that being local means offering honest, personalized advice to serve the well-being of our community. At Anna’s Vitamins Plus, we are focussed on ensuring our community has the very best in natural healthcare products and services available. Within our store, you’ll discover locally sourced products as well as hand-crafted natural health and beauty items. We carry over 130 bulk herbs, and are an Okanagan destination for our herbs and in-house herbal tea blends. We are dedicated to serving our community and understand that everyone is unique and has different healthcare needs, so our selection of vitamins and supplements is extensive and we offer a variety of Canadian sourced options whenever possible. In 2020 we were honoured to receive the Small Business Award from the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce, awarded to a local business that demonstrates a high level of customer service and community support. The owner Daina Bull was nominated for the 2020 Business Person of the Year- a reflection of her community leadership, passion, and dedication to health and wellness.

Anna’s Vitamins Plus Ltd has been nominated in the following categories:

Click on the banners to find out why they deserve your vote in each category.

Business Impact Award

Tell Us Your Story. What motivated you to start your business? Why are you passionate about what you do?

At the young age of 26 with no previous business degrees or experience running a business, I found myself the proud (and a little bit scared) owner of a small natural health food store that had been owned and operated locally for almost 10 years within The Vernon Square. With a strong determination to keep the legacy of the business going, to honour the previous owners' hard work and name (as the store was named after the previous owners’ mother, Anna) but also to prove to myself that I had what it took to be a business owner. Fast forward 19 years and I am still continuing the legacy! I have a strong passion to help customers with their natural health questions and offer support and guidance to those wishing to change their lifestyles. As someone who did not grow up with a healthy diet or exercise regime, I was lucky enough to have “fallen into” the natural health industry and have a mentor who helped me change my ways. I went from being a cashier in a health food store to eventually earning my Health & Nutrition Diploma and living a completely different lifestyle. If I can do it, so can anyone! I enjoy sharing my experience and encouraging others to help them live healthy lifestyles.

Describe and demonstrate, including metrics, your community support. How do you support and uplift your community, and how do they show that support in return? Minimum 25 words, maximum 2500 characters.

My community and customers have given me so much, they have supported our small store from the beginning and have continued to do so as we have grown over the years. Many of my customers feel like family. They have shared their personal health stories and allowed me to be part of their journey. I have shared in the sadness of diagnosis, the celebration of overcoming health challenges, and the excitement of turning their health around. I work with over 16 locally owned businesses by carrying their products in our store and giving them a chance to get started and create a good customer following. By sharing my business experience I have been able to offer mentorship on creating and growing businesses to others, who want to take the next big step for their small businesses. I have been able to be part of their business success, by bringing those products to the retail front and supporting them in their growth. I was blessed to have been able to participate in the Momentum Program offered through Community Futures, to give and receive support to and from other women in business. It was a great program that allowed us women to be able to navigate through some of the struggles of being mothers and running successful businesses. I have worked with Venture Training for many years, with a wonderful crew who I hire to maintain my business frontage. I am honoured to be able to help support them in all that they offer to our community.

Why do you deserve to win the Business Impact award?

I feel that the recognition of being honored with the Business Impact Award would give great credit to the last 19 years of hard work, dedication, and persistence I have endured. It definitely took a lot of work to get to where I am today. I was able to survive the financial struggles of breaking a commercial lease, purchasing and renovating my own building, moving my business, undergoing (on two separate occasions) city construction on roads accessing my business, a major flood, and a worldwide pandemic! I have had to maintain positivity and be creative in ways to keep my business afloat during trying times as well as continue to study and earn a degree in my field of work. Looking back from where I started to where I am now, I have doubled the size of my business, maintained a loyal customer base, and am continuing to welcome new customers daily. I can confidently say now I consider myself a qualified business person who has made a huge impact within the Okanagan, by offering support and guidance to many new entrepreneurs. Being honoured now would give me a "pat on the back" and the encouragement to continue mentoring others as well as continuing to grow a prominent business in our community.

Tell Us About Your Culture. How are you creating a sustainable and healthy workplace where everyone feels welcome? Provide examples of leadership you show in interactions with clients, vendors, contractors, staff and others.

Customer service is a huge part of my brand. In a world where everything is moving more to a self-serve digital experience, I believe in offering a more personal experience. We greet everyone who enters the store and on many occasions by name. We stand behind everything we sell and our return policy is very flexible. We do our best to help customers find what they are looking for and if we don't carry it we try to do a special order or call other local vitamin stores to see if they offer it. A few examples of how we have gone above and beyond: I have connected two customers who share common interests in beekeeping and they were able to get together and share beekeeping tips. I have gathered fresh chickweed herb from my property to give to a customer who had been looking endlessly for it. I have had a customer who called and was looking for the name of a local business on the main street that she could not remember so she called us to see if we knew because "we seem to know everything and we are always so helpful" I was able to give her the name and phone number. I gave a customer a ride back to where her vehicle was being serviced as it was quite warm and she had already walked to our store to shop and it seemed too far to have her walk back. I had a visually impaired customer who took the bus and I met her at the bus stop just outside of my work and helped her find what she needed, then walked her back and waited for the bus to pick her up. My staff have brought in and lent to customers their personal books on natural health and have shared their scobies for making kombucha as well. For us as a store, it is all about caring for and building relationships with our customers.

People's Choice

Why do you think you should win the Premier’s People’s Choice Award?

I feel Anna’s Vitamins Plus deserves the Premier’s People’s Choice Award as we have been proven to be a leading business in our industry and community and it would be a great honour to display such an award in our business!

Nominations and voting has now closed.

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