CYBF young entrepreneur James Dobbin initially had the idea of opening a unique candy store in 2004 while attending school, but knew he needed a great location for his idea to succeed. James heard about CYBF from his university professor and applied that same year, but let his file lapse due to a lack of location.
After working as an event planner, he decided to circle back to his dream of being a business owner and began scouting locations, re-applied to CYBF and earned $10,000 in financing. With additional financial support from friends, and after finding a suitable location, Gummi Boutique opened its doors in December 2011 on a fairly low budget but the business was immediately successful.
In fact, he was so successful that when his first choice location became available less than one year later, he quickly pounced on it and opened his second Calgary location in October 2012. The secret to James’ success is that everything he sells is imported from the U.S., Spain, Ireland, Japan, etc. Gummi Boutique will be going virtual with an online store specializing in the rare and hard to find items his clients crave, such as 5lb gummi bears, ghost pepper candy, and thunder floss (cotton candy with pop rocks in it).
“It was the mentor component that attracted me most to CYBF. I had no experience in retail when I started but it’s always nice to have a person who’s committed to you to help you along,” explained James. Given his success, James is now starting to think outside of Calgary for his next locations but wants to remain wholly owned and not franchised.