In 2016, we quickly found out it takes a small village to move mountains! We accomplished a lot, but not without a tremendous amount of help. We met amazing people with big hearts who truly just wanted to find ways to get our dates in more hands and mouths.

Friends shared ideas and made calls. They contributed in ways we never would have dreamed of – just to help. We are grateful.

Here are a few highlights from 2016.

Early in the year, Anne Simmonds Stone made one of the key introductions to get us listed with Calgary Coop. As the year progressed, our friend Erick helped bring our product to share with friends in Winnipeg through City Park Runners; Kim Senkiw spent many hours pitting dates and folding boxes, all while managing a sales career in radio; Denise Watson, a lawyer with 9-year old twins, interrupted her busy life to help us with sampling at Blush Lane Organic Market in Edmonton.

Susan Impey Kreutzer, took time out of her work schedule and driving teenage girls to ballet lessons and recitals to introduce Duzu Dates to key businesses in Steinbach; Kelsey Pfister folded more boxes than we thought one person could fold in a week. She has a full-time job and doesn’t hesitate to help when asked; Bren Hughes-Price did and does anything and everything that is needed from pitting to packaging and at all hours of the day or night; Don Flach, a Project Manager at Suncor; helped organize logistics by sourcing boxes for packaging; and also folding the gift boxes too! And the high-powered help didn’t end there – Robert Sigurdson, another lawyer in the circle of friends, did everything from helping with deliveries to packaging, and folding boxes!

There were dozens of others who contributed along the way – Stacey Walyuchow helped with graphics and pitted dates. So many friends pitched in as needed – and we sure appreciate it!
We met inspiring business leader, Lou MacEachern at local Italian Restaurant Il Chianti; Lou “loves the dates; and loves entrepreneurs.” He said he wanted to help and he set out to do so. Lou created an itemized list of “ways to help Duzu Dates”, and sure enough, Lou checked his list twice, and ensured each item was crossed off.

Lou, now in his 80s, goes to the office everyday and says if retirement means doing something you love – then he is retired!

We can only hope to be doing something we love every day of our lives!

On that note, we are grateful to everyone in the growing Duzu community who is on this journey with us. We wish all of you a healthy, prosperous, and happy 2017.