On April 20th, 2023, EMKAO Foods Inc. had the privilege of receiving the TD Social Enterprise Award at the CWE Industry gala, and we are truly honoured to be among the top 100 of Total Mom Pitch!
Winning the TD Social Enterprise Award by the CWE and What it Means to EMKAO
This award is given to businesses that incorporate social, cultural, or environmental purposes into their operations or reinvest their profits towards their mission. We are beyond grateful to have our efforts in the industry recognized through such a prestigious award. For years we have dedicated ourselves to educating local communities about what goes on behind the finished products seen in stores. This includes the farmers across the border, ethical and sustainable agricultural practices, and the incorporation of culture into our daily operations. EMKAO is simply happy to have the voices of the communities we represent be heard and honoured through this award.
CWE Industry Gala and Canada’s Total Mom Pitch
CWE, or the Canadian Women Entrepreneur Industry Gala, celebrated Canada’s leading companies that have influenced and left a positive impact on the standards of women in business. The evening was dedicated to the brilliant female entrepreneurs and their noble work to build spaces for women and by women in the industry.
Canada’s Total Mom Pitch, presented by TD, had five founders pitch their businesses to executive judges, showcasing their innovation and journeys to success. As mentioned, EMKAO Foods was a recognized winner of the TD Social Enterprise Award. We are still in disbelief that we had the opportunity to connect and mingle with fellow female business owners.
About Total Mom Inc.
This all wouldn’t have been possible without the support and leadership of Total Mom Inc., a 100% women-owned organization spearheading support systems for moms in all areas of life. Their mission is to break down barriers by advocating for more equitable opportunities and elevate women in need of mentorship, networking, and community. Having empowered thousands of women-owned businesses to new frontiers, we are thankful and lucky to be among the small business being supported and recognized by Total Mom. We hope we can serve as an example to other mothers and future women entrepreneurs to pursue their passions and reach out for the support they deserve.
Ayissi’s Final Words of Thanks
I would first like to thank Total Mom Inc. again, for the recognition and their incredible mission of helping mothers in business, and am truly honoured to receive the TD award at CWE.
This, like many others, is another step in my lifelong journey from Cameroon, France and Canada. My business had humble beginnings on my family's cocoa farm in Koutou, a village in the Yembuni clan, center region of Cameroon.
My family and grandparents started the cocoa farm to encourage the adoption of conservation and sustainable agricultural practices to reduce production costs. From there, I arrived in Vancouver, BC and seven years later I started EMKAO Foods Inc. as a cocoa beans processing startup. Starting from scratch, with no connections outside the comfort of my home in Cameroon, the challenges and tribulations of bringing EMKAO to what it is today are a testament to my personal journey and success.
I wish to thank my family and grandparents from the bottom of my heart and commemorate my grandmother, who planted the seeds of growth that encouraged us to return to the village. Although she was never able to see the harvest of our first cacao beans six years ago, the business lives on in her spirit and memory. EMKAO will always operate based on the support and philosophies of family, and never forfeit the mission we promise customers from day one.
Today, I have the privilege of offering sustainable organic cocoa ingredients despite the adversities presented by COVID-19, supply chain issues, flooding, the War in Ukraine, and the rising costs of shipments.
To my family, EMKAO Foods investors, mentors, board members, and at-home supporters, I would like to sincerely express my thanks, and forever gratitude for joining me on this journey.
A Special Thanks to:
Total mom pitch;
Partners in the business community (chocolate makers, bakeries, confectionaries, breweries, wineries, distilleries, machine tech etc.)
Universities in BC (E@UBC, TWU, SFU and …)
Elementary schools in Mission(…)
Consumers in the community (…)