Rock the vote for Nova Scotia finalist in quest for $100,000 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award grand prize

Timothy and Kimberly Stokdijk ready to spice up Stokdijk Greenhouses with gourmet line

BEAVER BROOK, NS, May 22, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) announced today that the turning point project, "Vine Into Gourmet Line", submitted by greenhouse owners Timothy and Kimberly Stokdijk will represent Nova Scotia in the finals of the 2013 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award.

Their project aims to add zing to Canadians' dinner tables with a new line of gourmet spreads and condiments made from the company's fresh produce. The Stokdjiks need every bit of voter support to harvest the $100,000 grand prize!

The seeds of Stokdijk Greenhouses' reputation for high-quality vegetables were sown three generations ago. The business has grown in step with advances in technology and agriscience, building durable regional retail relationships and establishing sustainable business practices.

To address the issue of ever-spiralling costs and shrinking margins, the company has come up with a recipe for a viable future: a line of gourmet products for retail grocery, specialty and online stores. To move into full-scale product development, the company needs to create and market a new line of high-quality spreads and condiments. "These products will add revenue to improve profit margins and help us take advantage of new opportunities across Canada through our retail relationships, as well as the new markets that will open up with online sales," says Kimberly.

Timothy learned the art of growing vegetables from his grandfather, who started the business in 1956. He and Kimberly, a language teacher with a master's degree in technology integration, gained a decade of first-hand small business experience with their own market farm before taking ownership of Stokdijk Greenhouses in 2010. Since then, the couple—who have four children—have focused on ensuring the company has all the right tools in place to succeed.

"On top of an experienced team, we have an outstanding provincial support system in Nova Scotia," notes Timothy. "Through our local agricultural innovation centre, we gained access to the product developers, equipment and facilities we need to bring our new products to market."

"All the finalists competing for the 2013 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award presented sound turning point solutions that could provide a solid springboard for future growth and success," says Michel Bergeron, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Public Affairs at BDC. "The Stokdijks have distinguished themselves in many ways. Their plans to grow a made-in-Canada agribusiness show remarkable foresight and have earned the support of their local community."

"Our new gourmet line will give Canadians a fresh twist to their meals, without unnecessary preservatives," conclude the Stokdijks. "We know our business can have a vibrant future, and we need all the votes we can get to win the hearts and appetites of people across Canada!"

Voting for the 2013 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest runs from May 22 to June 11. To support your favourite project, log into the contest microsite and vote once a day. Follow the contest through updates on Facebook at "BDC Entrepreneur", Twitter at @BDC_News and LinkedIn. The BDC Young Entrepreneur Award winner and runner-up will be announced on June 17. The runner-up will receive $25,000 in consulting services.

About the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest
Created by the Business Development Bank of Canada in 1988, the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest pays tribute to remarkable Canadian entrepreneurs between 18 and 35 years of age. Nine finalists were short-listed to compete for a $100,000 grand prize. The winner will be selected by public vote and the contest runner-up will receive a second prize of $25,000 in consulting services.  The Financial Post and La Presse are the media partners of the 2013 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award.

About BDC
Canada's business development bank, BDC puts entrepreneurs first. With almost 2,000 employees and more than 100 business centres across the country, BDC offers financing, subordinate financing, venture capital, securitization and consulting services to more than 28,000 small and medium-sized companies. Their success is vital to Canada's economic prosperity.

SOURCE: Business Development Bank of Canada

For further information:

Maria Constantinescu
Senior Advisor, Public Relations
Business Development Bank of Canada
(514) 496-7146


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