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Leveraging local sustainability for global growth

Local businesses raise funds for MSF
(Keri Knapp)

“Do something, anything, but don’t stand idle.”- Mary Jane Cadegan

Have you ever heard something that stopped you dead in your tracks, or caused the hair on your arms to bolt up? Maybe something that echoed in your head, rolling around in your brain — its momentum driving you forward.

For Kat Cadegan, it was her late aunt, Mary Jane saying, “do something, anything, but don’t stand idle,” in reference to helping those in need. The then teenager, Kat, did not know how those words would affect the course of her life, but she knew it was going to be big.

(Zoya Lynch)

Do Something

Kat’s journey in metalsmithing and entrepreneurship began in 2006 after taking a jewellery-making class in Pushkar, India, followed by more travels, inspiration and learnings. As her business continued to grow both online and through the art fair circuit, Cadegan decided to give her business a permanent home, and in 2021 opened a storefront on MacKenzie Avenue in Revelstoke.


While her storefront offers locals and tourists alike a taste of her earthy creations, she and her team continue their transient operations, travelling to fairs and serving customers across the country and around the globe online. The wide-spanning community she has created isn’t lost on Cadegan; it’s what propels her, and her aunt’s echoing words, forward.

Don’t Stand Idle

As Cadegan watched tragedies unfold thousands of kilometres away, like many others, she too felt helpless, until she remembered her aunt’s words.

“I just remember my aunt, Mary Jane saying ‘do something, anything is better than nothing’,” said Cadegan.

As she watched conflicts and mass suffering ravage the world, Cadegan auctioned her jewellery to raise funds for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

In September 2021, Cadegan raised $8,100 for the Afghanistan MSF mission; in February 2022, $20,800 for the Ukrainian MSF mission; in February 2023, $6,600 for the Turkey and Syria MSF mission; in October 2023, $17,260 for MSF (just to the organization); in December 2023, $11,320 for the Gaza MSF mission.

The call to do something has become a way of life for Cadegan.

“I feel big, I love hard, and when I see suffering, I feel a profound call to action,” she said.

The most recent auction of her Elysium ring raised $11,320 for Doctors Without Borders in Gaza and a total of $35,180 in 2023.

Cadegan chose MSF because of their apolitical stance. While some people can’t see beyond the politics of taking sides, Cadegan sees the people behind the suffering and a call to do something.

“For me, there are no sides, there are just humans who need help,” said Cadegan.

Her actions inspired other Revelstoke businesses to use her fundraising model.

From auctioning jewellery to coffee subscriptions for Doctors Without Borders

Simon Harper and Isabelle Lamoureux began their coffee roastery and cafe during the global pandemic as what Harper described as a “COVID project gone mad.” As it expanded, so did the duo’s commitment to sustainability and building connections within the community.

(Felix Gerz)

Opening Holm Coffee seemed like a natural progression for Harper and Lamoureux as Lamoureux had always dreamt of opening a coffee shop, and the couple was searching for a way to make Revelstoke their home. As Lamoureux had experience working with coffee roasters and Harper in the tourism sector, opening their own roastery and coffee shop was a natural progression.

Harper acknowledged that with the cost of living in Revelstoke, creating a home for both them and the community at large is becoming increasingly difficult.

“We found that this was a way we could really stick our toes in, get cozy, work hard and have something for ourselves,” said Harper.

The commitment to sustainability was always a top priority when they began this venture as the more they researched, the more they realized that the industry is abounded with historical and political footprints. This process involves vetting their suppliers and getting to know their practices via lengthy conversations on Zoom.

An example of this is their collaboration with Baho Coffee, based out of Rwanda. The company, which was founded by Emmanuel Rusatira and his family, operates processing mills in Rwanda with the goal of helping small scale farms earn a livable wage.

“Seventy-five per cent of coffee produced in Rwanda is owned by foreign multinational companies,” said Harper.

Baho Coffee seeks out the smallholder farms and pays them significantly higher than the bigger, centralized processing mills.

Harper noted that there can be further ecological advantages to seeking out smallholder farms.

“A lot of the smallholder farmers will also grow a range of different crops in a very biodynamic, natural, indigenous way,” said Harper.

Seeking coffee that is ethically produced and bringing it to Revelstoke has been an important part of the duo’s entrepreneurial journey. Another part of the adventure was finding a way to live sustainably in a town they adore.

“It was just as much about what the business could do for us lifestyle-wise, how it could sustain us, how it could connect us to the community, how it could sediment us being here,” said Harper.


Harper and Lamoureux were looking to use their platform and product to do some good both within the boundaries of Revelstoke and the global community. When a friend mentioned Cadegan’s fundraiser for MSF, they were immediately intrigued and decided to raffle a year-long coffee subscription in support of MSF.

Harper noted that with a raffle, the money gets to where it needs to go right away. The couple also liked choosing an organization like MSF for the same reasons that Cadegan chose to help the organization.

“We really like the apolitical view as she puts it,” said Harper.

That view was clearly shared by Holm’s customers as they were able to raise $1,305 for MSF, and Harper noted that people were stoked to be able to support a good cause.

“We feel super blessed to be doing this and to have the support that we have.”

Not only are Harper and Lamoureux grateful to Cadegan for helping them initiate the raffle (and their customers for their long-standing support since they opened their doors in Big Eddy), but they are also grateful to Carolyn Gibson of Community Futures who helped them develop a business plan prior to opening Holm Coffee.

Besides raising funds for MSF, the two are also involved with community initiatives such as fundraising for the Revelstoke Women’s Shelter, and Harper is active with the youth skate camp.

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About the Author: Lauren McNeil

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