Client Story: Ginger’s Bannock House

Introducing Ginger Auger, Owner of Ginger’s Bannock House

Since launching in 2016, Ginger Auger has transformed her passion for traditional baking into a thriving business, infusing her Métis heritage into every delicious creation. Her bannock donuts and Ginbits have become local favourites, celebrated for their unique flavours and cultural significance. Ginger’s journey is truly inspiring—overcoming personal challenges to empower others through her business. Her dedication to community and Indigenous culture shines in every aspect of her work, making Ginger’s donuts a beloved staple in Fort McMurray.

What inspired you to start your business?

I grew up poor, and my mom was always hustling to make ends meet. She was resourceful, constantly figuring out a way to make money. Inspired by her entrepreneurial spirit, I started Ginger’s Bannock House in 2016 when my youngest child was born. Making bannock, a staple from my childhood, became my way to connect with my roots and share my culture. I started small, selling at markets and catering events, and it just grew from there.

My own healing journey has been a huge part of this business. After I lost everything and hit rock bottom, I went into treatment and started to rebuild my life for my kids. Bannock was more than just food for me—it was a connection to my past and a way to heal. Over the years, as I healed, I realized I could help others too. I started employing people who needed a second chance, those struggling with addiction or trauma.

It’s been incredible to see the transformation in my team. We support each other and grow together. This business saved me, and now it’s helping others find hope and a new path in life. I’m proud to offer a job, a community, and a sense of belonging.

When I first started, I was making bannock with my little one under the table from me. It was tough, but seeing people enjoy my bannock and feeling that connection to my culture made it all worth it. Now, I’m making thousands of pieces for events. It’s crazy sometimes, but it’s also amazing to see how far we’ve come. This business is about giving people hope and showing them that they can turn their lives around, just like I did.

What products do you offer?

We specialize in bannock donuts and Ginbits, which are a huge hit at markets and events. The bannock donuts are always in high demand—they sell out quickly, and I often have to rush back home to make more! The Ginbits are little glazed pieces of bannock that people love. Our unique products and flavours are a big part of what sets us apart.

What sets your business apart?

What truly sets Ginger’s Bannock House apart is our mission to employ and support people in recovery and those with trauma. We give them a chance to rebuild their lives, offering not just a flexible job but a supportive environment where they can heal and grow. Seeing their progress and success is what makes our business special.

How does your business reflect, or incorporate Indigenous cultures and practices?

We teach about Métis culture through our workshops, including traditional cooking methods and the history of food in trading. Our workshops often involve dancing and jigging, making the experience immersive and educational. It’s really important to me to share my culture and keep these traditions alive.

So when I do the workshop, I do the jigging and dancing and show the kids how. I also talk about how they used to make bannock a long time ago. It’s really cool to see the kids engage with the culture.

How does your business support or enhance Indigenous communities?

Beyond the workshops, we plan to go mobile to support Indigenous communities. We aim to work with local nations to employ people on their healing journey. Sharing my story and providing a supportive environment is central to our mission.

What unique challenges have you experienced growing your business, and how have you overcome them?

Being an Indigenous woman in business has been tough, especially finding capital and making the right contacts. I wasn’t getting invited to the backyard barbecues or had the ins and outs of knowing people. It was really hard to push through without those connections.

In the beginning, I had nothing to start with, and going to the banks was tough. They didn’t take me seriously. But over time, awareness has grown, and it’s getting a bit better now. There’s more recognition and support for women in business. It’s still a challenge, but I’ve learned to persevere and not give up. I’m proud of how far we’ve come.

How was your experience with Business Link?

It was great. I attended a few webinars and took one of your workshop series. Then, I met with a Business Strategist in Edmonton to ask questions. They were always open and honest and directed me where I needed to go. If they couldn’t help me directly, they pointed me to the right resources. Business Link has been a valuable resource in helping me navigate the challenges of running a business.

How did Business Link support your small business?

When I wanted to expand my business in 2024, my first inclination was to get professional advice. I reached out to a Business Strategist at Business Link and had two sessions. Their input and advice made all the difference.

What future goals do you have for Ginger’s Bannock House?

To go mobile. Maybe to empower more people to start their own bannock houses, having healing centres, maybe even multiple healing centres across the nation, just to empower people and to give them the light and believe in themselves. Really, I just want them to find themselves, to find who they are. Especially the entrepreneurs. I want to work with entrepreneurs and reinvest in them and really help them find who they can be and how they can soar on their own.

Ginger Auger

Owner, Ginger’s Bannock House

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