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n harnessing the power of online marketing, entrepreneurs like Jenn Silver have the ability to reclaim their brands’ narrative.
Silver is the founder and co-owner of Wild & Raw Superfood + Juice Bar in Calgary. The business started as a pop-up juice stand before Silver opened up shop in a Kensington-based storefront with the help of her father and brother in 2014.
“At first, I just wanted to make juice,” Silver, a SAIT journalism grad, says.
Almost a decade since the alumna received her SAIT credentials, she recalls a longtime fascination with juicing and the raw food movement, even basing a large majority of her class assignments on the topic. “My instructor would ask, ‘Do you always have to write about juicing?'” she says with a chuckle. “And I’d say, ‘Yes, I do.'”
Although a superfood business may not seem like a natural extension of journalism, Silver says she continues to use these skills — photography, graphic design and writing — to grow much of her health-conscious clientele through an online blog and social media.
“I was inspired to open Wild & Raw because I am passionate about health and optimal wellness through the avenue of food,” she says. “And it’s also as a creative platform to share my curiosity and creativity with the world.”
Silver says she uses that creativity to concoct new recipes in-store and connect almost daily with her community through Wild & Raw’s Instagram and Facebook — each with 5,484 and 2,739 followers, respectively, and climbing.
Deepa Acharya, Academic Chair, Marketing in SAIT’s School of Business says online marketing is a “crucial part of doing business” and is comprised of well-designed websites, accessible social media accounts, company responsiveness and search engine optimization.
“Social media is really important for relationship cultivation,” she says. “Customers rely on being able to get quick answers and provide feedback to the companies they engage with.”
For Silver, social sharing means she can easily and instantly share her business’ story in “an organic and personable way.”
“I’m here to connect [with customers] and I want to inspire and influence,” she says. “I think authenticity is sexy and that sells.”
⚠️NOTICE OF CLOSURE – please read . Dear Beloved Customer, It is with heavy hearts, that we regrettably inform you of the closure of our storefront location. We could spend our time today talking about how we have hustled forth with optimism while tending to the roots of Wild + Raw. Unfortunately, the reality of the current economic climate forced us a hard pill to swallow and we were unable to adapt while racing against the imminent forces of time. Please know that if you were once a health curious customer who passed through our doors, or a committed regular, we are endlessly grateful to have shared an experience with you along our journey. If you are one of the many that enjoyed one of the 77,689 drinks we hand-crafted with love over the past three years in operations, please be grateful for all that you contributed to. We came along way, and so did you! Alas, the time has come for us to uncomfortably and softly deconstruct to make way for our energy to be transformed – for something of greater purpose to take shape. We honour and are grateful for the countless opportunities, conversations, connections, laughs, lessons, acknowledgements, awards, awkward moments that took place inside the Wild + Raw walls and amongst our work within the community. We pledge to keep supporting small businesses and contributing in the ways we can to the amazing initiatives and growth within the YYC Community. We wish the best of luck to you all and to other small businesses that may be weathering storms amongst the climatic shifts. If you have questions or want to reach out – firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on social media (@wildandraw). We would love to hear from you, we miss you already. Remember … Stay Hungry. Stay Curious. Stay Wild. Love Forever and Bye for Now, The Wild + Raw Team.
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Written by Giselle Wedemire | Photo by Ashley Naud