A Family Affair: mother-daughter duos do it better
The wonderful women behind some of Winnipeg’s best businesses
Beyoncé asked — then promptly answered for us — the pressing question of "Who run the world?", which we now know to be "girls" after hearing her repeat the answer 38 times in her 2011 hit.
In Winnipeg, we have a fierce group of females to thank for some of the city's sweetest spots, from bakeries and beauty businesses to tea shops and t-shirt designs. These females are also family—and for them, being a mother-daughter duo means working hard, collaborating, taking advantage of their close connection and making a difference.
Check out these mother-and-daughter movers, makers and masterminds behind some of the city's best businesses.
At only ten years old, Brooklynn Krul was already a regular fixture in her parents’ tea shop, chatting with customers and making trinkets and tea balls. Fast forward to 2020, and Brooklynn is now the marketing and operations director of Cornelia Bean where she works alongside her mother Cory, a tea sommelier, and sister-in-law Kelli, to run the successful family business.
Named after Brooklynn’s great grandma, Cornelia Boon, who was born in Broek op Langedijk, a small town north of Amsterdam, the Academy Road shop has been serving specialty teas, coffee beans and brewing supplies since 2004.
“We’re a power duo. We have different skill sets in regards to tea. I’m an integrated health practitioner as well, so I focus on the health side when talking to customers," said Brooklynn. "Cory knows the professional side of tea making, so I’ll call Cory into the conversation for that. It’s very collaborative.”
“There are very few days that I don’t spend with my mom. If one of us is having a bad day, the other one comes in and takes over in her role. We don’t even need to say it at this point, we sense it…it’s a very intuitive relationship.”
Exciting new offerings are coming to Cornelia Bean over the next few months, including a refreshed user-friendly website with the option of searching teas by benefit (calming, refreshing, detoxing, etc) to make online ordering and curbside pickup even easier for tea lovers.
“It means a lot because I don’t have to pay her. Its payback for giving her life,” laughs Christine Pattison when asked about working alongside her daughter, Allison, at Miss Christine’s Kitchen, a much-loved Jamaican street food restaurant located in St. Boniface’s Chalet Hotel. “I get to see her every single day. I’m sure I get on her nerves sometimes.”
Pattison, who immigrated to Canada from Jamaica in 1989, started the restaurant in 2019 after years of cooking out of her home (earlier this year, she also participated as a contestant on the Food Network Canada's Wall of Chefs). When the restaurant first opened, her daughter Allison helped out most days doing dishes, serving customers, painting and cleaning. Now, Allison is expecting her first child so Christine works mostly alone.
The restaurant is open Wednesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner with social distancing measures in place. Christine’s dishes include jerk chicken, steamed fish, okra, oxtail stew and curry goat roti, all of which have garnered repeat customers since opening. Take-out and catering options are also available.
Born out of a need for industry transformation, The Beauty Box by Sheriff cosmetic boutique caters to women of all ethnicities in Winnipeg and across Canada. Co-owned by Carla De Roy and her daughter Amanda Sheriff, the extremely successful business includes makeup artistry certification courses, one-on-one lessons, glam parties (for both kids and grownups), bridal and graduation hair & makeup services and an impressive retail space on Ellice Avenue. Carla is a mother to four girls (who jokingly refer to her as ‘glamama’ and ‘mom-ager’), and both Amanda and Megan help her operate the shop. Owning a business together is no new feat for this family — Carla and her mother first opened a children’s store in Toronto years ago.
Absolutely rockin' it in the small, independent retail scene are Trish and Lauren Wittmann of Riley Grae, a bright little shop on Corydon Avenue. Lauren, the daughter, makes a number of handmade goodies including greeting cards, jewellery, t-shirt designs, art prints, repurposed vintage clothing and most recently, reusable masks. Her mom, Trish, brings years of valuable business, retail and photography experience. Together, they hope to offer a quiet, welcoming space for you to relax and browse the small makers’ offerings, which includes a handful of Canadian and international artists. You can also shop online through the store’s website.
What started as a fundraiser for her daughter’s grad trip to Italy quickly grew into a family business for Crissy Slater and her daughter Ariel Spence. Red Road Clothing features Crissy’s original designs on t-shirts and hoodies, including ‘Under the Moon,’ which honours missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and ‘Berry Fast,’ which represents Ariel’s year-long journey participating in a womanhood ceremony. Crissy’s daughters and partner help her fill orders and make deliveries, and Ariel is a part-owner in the company.
Best known for their imperial cookies, which sell out in the thousands and have customers lining up around the block during the holidays, High Tea Bakery is the vision of Belinda Bigold and her mother Carol. The duo bake dozens of treats, many of which are classic recipes passed down through generations, and everything is made using simple, high-quality ingredients.
Carol, an accomplished watercolour artist and mother of five, was taught to bake by her own mother while growing up in Australia. Belinda pushed her to begin baking her much-coveted cookies for more than just friends and family and High Tea Bakery was born in 2003.
Spanning three neighbouring spots in Osborne Village are Judy Coy’s storefronts: the quality, well-made footwear store Rooster Shoes, Silver Lotus -- packed to the brim with thousands of gorgeous carefully crafted rings, earrings and necklaces, and Small Mercies -- the newest addition featuring the cutest little courtyard spot to sip a coffee while surrounded by antique and vintage décor. Judy’s three daughters help run each of the businesses, from providing online retail support to digital marketing and day-to-day operations.