The Healing Power of Food

“I love my people, I love my community and want to see us really thrive.”

Anna Cote, Founder of Birch Bite is determined to improve the quality of life on reserves. Growing up in Kitigan Zibi First Nation, Anna left to study holistic nutrition at college. She returned home in 2017 to start her company where she works to encourage healthy eating as a healing and preventative medicine.

SC: After learning about holistic nutrition and cooking, you brought your knowledge and passion back to your community. Can you take us on the journey of launching Birch Bite?

AC: When I returned back home to my community I wanted to try to promote nutrition. I thought it would be best to do this through workshops and things like that, but I figured it might be better to start by cooking the food to show people that eating healthy could be really awesome.

SC: What kind of food does your company Birch Bite make and what does it mean for the people in your community?

AC: Birch Bite creates delicious and heart healthy foods and diabetic friendly meals. It is really important in my community because many Anishinabe people struggle with their health and have difficulty accessing healthy food and meals.

SC: How did Birch Bite begin?

AC: I started it as a pilot project to see if my community would be interested in the food and these kinds of workshops. I started with people at the school, and people really liked it so I ended up being very busy. I was up in the morning to cook, working through the day and coming back home to cook at night.

SC: You won the 2017 Pow Wow Pitch prize in the competition. What does this mean for you and your company, Birch Bite?

AC: By doing this business I am going to be able to employ myself, but I also want to focus on employing other people as well. I already hear so many people talk about the things they have learned so far, and they are so excited. People feel good, and I really believe in this. I love my people, I love my community and want to see us really thrive.   

To watch more episodes and to learn more, visit www.startupcan.ca/pow-wow-pitch today.