Self-proclaimed as being very different, one of the things these sisters have in common is their contagious energy and infectious laughter.  When asked how they started Primal Sisters Enterprises, Jennifer replies, “Stumbling.” She laughs, “It was a side thing. And though we had obstacles, we kept saying we had to keep going, because it was just so much fun. And then other parts, well I hate to say it was easy, but a lot of it was.”

Tamara describes how both sisters had switched to a Paleo style of eating, for different health reasons. “It was freeing,” she said. “And once my body adjusted to not storing glucose anymore, the result was euphoric.” Still, there were some foods they missed having. Maintaining a way of eating, without carbohydrates, limiting certain treats. “Potato chips,” quips Tamara, and says to her sister, “I miss chips! What about meat chips?” While developing a snack for themselves, their paleo, ketogenic and preservative-free pork crisps product was born, Louis Pasture. 

Jennifer, a single parent of four children, who formerly cleaned houses and mowed lawns, to pay the bills, talks about the business now. She explains, “We are still sometimes amazed that we were capable of doing what we’ve done. From craving a snack to heading out to sell our crisps at farmers’ markets, to now, today. I remember being so excited, going to the market,” she laughs. “As a Mom, it was a big night out for me!” 

Tamara describes how she loves to share her knowledge, and you can hear an eagerness to educate in her words. “I had some health problems, and I figured out that it was related to what I was eating.” A former vegetarian, as well as nutritionist, she describes how her body was just not feeling good. “It was a lesson in humility, thinking that I knew everything as a nutritionist,” she chuckles. With her words comes the feeling that it’s not just a business, but a public service, and deeply personal.

Also important to the sisters was the way their food was being raised, and harvested. “How the animals lived was important to us,” Tamara states, “but also the way that their lives were ended.” So they got in touch with a local butcher who specialized in traditionally raised local pork and started to produce their organic snack food.

The company name was a bit of an inside joke. It was a story that their Mother used to read to them about believing in yourself, even when others may not. It was the story of Louis Pasteur. From there, and because their product is wholly natural, Louis Pasture became their name. “I think we even named the pig Louis,” Jennifer laughs when talking about their company logo. 

She continues, “We couldn’t have done this without the support of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Economic 

Development Corporation, in British Columbia. They not only helped us with a loan when a regular bank would not even consider us, but they were the first ones to say to us that it was a great idea! It wasn’t just the financial support, they also gave us a boost at a time when things were pretty uncertain.” She laughs, “We still can’t get a business credit card from a regular bank.” Then says, “So they 

were crucial to our plan. We wouldn’t be here without them.”

Learn more about some of the Indigenous women entrepreneurs that the Aboriginal Financial Institution network has supported at nacca.ca