Congratulations to Daniella Jasper, an NDSU graduate who is launching her new business, The Brdge! It is a web-based platform that serves as a central hub for ethnic food and services in Calgary, Canada. It is similar to doordash and skip with a few distinct differences. The business offers strictly ethnic food, using authentic ingredients in all meals. Beyond meals, the public can also order authentic ingredients that are difficult to find, catering from the chefs, and private chef services.
Daniella was able to make her vision and dream come true by partnering with local restaurants, caterers, and private chefs in the city to make international cuisine easily accessible to various ethnic groups and to anyone that enjoys it. The dishes that are offered by The Brdge include traditional cuisines from Singapore, India, Jamaica, Ethiopia, The Philippines, Lebanon, Ukraine, France, Italy, Greece, Korea, China, Venezuela and Nigeria.
Daniella’s passion for her vision is clearly evident by the way that she speaks of it and the effort she puts forth. Her idea was sparked one day on her way home from her corporate job in sales and marketing. She wondered to herself about what it would take to begin a business. She recognized that as a young professional she lives alone and often comes home having nothing prepared for dinner. Oftentimes she spends too much money ordering food and dislikes the hassle of dishes. She thought about how much she loved it when her aunt would make her Nigerian food that she could put in her freezer and heat later. She realized that there are people from all different cultures in Canada that crave their traditional international cuisine, but do not have the time or the means necessary to make it with their busy schedules. As her idea began formulating, she made a phone call to her dad and discussed how she could bring this dream to life. Then despite the risks, hard work, and stress that it would require she jumped in headfirst and began working towards accomplishing her goal. Dr. Nordstrom said: “I know that I am not supposed to have ‘favorites’ but I must admit, Daniella was a ‘favorite’ of mine. In my class I challenge students to speak up and Daniella embraced this challenge and expressed her thoughts and ideas regularly. Sometimes she failed, sometimes she succeeded but along the way I watched her become a more confident and engaged student. It didn’t surprise me a bit to hear that she had gone on to do big things! I’m very proud of her!!”
Daniella credits her time at NDSU and her involvement with the Center for Entrepreneurship for helping prepare her to start and run her own business. Daniella said that when she was in school she did not foresee herself starting her own business but the entrepreneurship course that she took provided her with the understanding that she could, using the means and connections she had available to her. She also learned that being proactive and thinking about little details that can affect your business such as location of your store and your target market are important.
During her time at NDSU, Daniella was involved Map the System, our systems-thinking program. Daniella credits this program with helping her not just to come up with an idea but also helping to answer the question of what the next steps she needs to take. Her involvement in the project helped her to realize what she was capable of, and this experience gave her the confidence to believe that she could make something happen. Daniella said that she still reverts back to her class notes for insights and tips about how to continue scaling her business to new heights.
The extensive effort that Daniella has put forward thus far has proven to be successful with her launch party occurring on February 28th!! Daniella’s advice to current aspiring NDSU students is that even though you may feel like you are the only one who sees the vision, keep working to turn that vision into a reality. She stresses the importance of beginning with the basics such as what does it take to buy the lease you need or get the equipment. Then once the basics are taken care of, the rest will come, and the big picture idea will begin to fall into place. She also said to value and pay attention to customer feedback because this will allow you to adjust your business to best meet the needs of your target market. As a current student at NDSU, I found Daniella’s story inspiring. It was so fun to hear about Daniella’s success in the beginning stages of her business. She has encouraged me to step up and chase my own dreams!