Jo Masterson grew up thinking that, one day, she would open her own bakery. Only when she pictured it in her head, it was in her 40s and by the sea in Halifax. Her dreams morphed into a different reality when, with her friends and community rallying around her, Masterson received a loan through Futurepreneur that helped her open Little Jo Berry’s at the corner of Wellington and Caroline in 2016.
After three amazing years, Masterson is still the most thankful for the community that surrounds her. Her loyal customers continue to eat up everything Little Jo Berry does; every event they throw. “People are so excited about what we are doing,” remarks Masterson with gratitude.
Masterson is especially touched by the businesses around Little Jo Berry’s that have helped her along the way. “Being able to choose who you grow with is something I feel really good about,” says Masterson, and rightly so. When Masterson needed hours covered at the bakery, friends and local business owners Bread by Us lent her one of their staff to help fill the gaps. Every time a machine breaks down, Oat & Mill send repair people to fix the problem. “Finding like-minded folks to work with has really helped our growth and shaped our ethics as a business” says Masterson.
Over the past year, Little Jo Berry’s is proud to have had the opportunity to foster relationships with two organisations, Girls+ Rock and Penny Lane Farm Sanctuary. Girls+ Rock is a volunteer-run community organisation that provides empowerment, inclusivity and community to girls, women, femmes, trans, non-binary, two-spirit, and gender non-conforming folk. Penny Lane Sanctuary is a not-for-profit organisation east of Ottawa that operates a sanctuary for abused animals. Both are causes near and dear to Little Jo Berry’s heart.
Looking ahead to Little Jo Berry’s fourth year, Masterson will be bringing Little Jo to events in different cities. She’s excited to hit the road and meet new people, but first an opportunity to celebrate! Little Jo Berry’s 3rd Birthday Party is happening this Friday, April 26th in Mac Hall of the Bronson Centre.
What can one expect from Little Jo Berry’s birthday? A sweet dance party with the most amazing snacks. There will be the tried and true Little Jo Berry’s favourites, alongside some awesome new collabs with Oat & Mill, and some top-secret kombucha floats. Not to mention gluten-free nachos made with Top Shelf Preserves and Mad Faux Cheese mac n’ cheese. DJs Mani Pedi and TRINIDADDY will be spinning some great dance grooves to get you moving.
With the love and support of the community behind them, Little Jo Berry’s will continue bringing us the most inventive vegan treats. After a stellar first few years, there are only more great things to look forward to ahead.
Little Jo Berry’s 3rd Birthday Party is happening this Friday, April 26th in Mac Hall of the Bronson Centre.