A Caring Community: Meet Tea and Toast’s Award-Winning Entrepreneur Amy Friesen

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portrait of amy friesen

It’s been a busy year for Amy Friesen. 

While simultaneously operating her first business, Tea and Toast, she launched her second business, The Local Senior.

While Tea and Toast gives retirement living advice for families to understand more about what they want and need from a retirement home before touring, the Local Senior is an active listing of services and senior living options in your area, allowing families to look at their options in one place before even starting. 

For her commitment to seniors and their families, she was named 2018’s “Businesswoman of The Year” by the Women’s Business Network and recognized in the Ottawa Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 list. She’s also the proud mom of a two-year-old toddler, Eva, so you can only imagine what her calendar looks like– She also likes to schedule time to cook meals as it’s one of her de-stressors. 

So how do you tackle a day that can be overwhelming from the start? For Amy, it’s all about choosing to believe you have the power to make good things happen from any situation. 

“I’m always of the mind that things will work out,” said Amy when we talked about how she manages to keep a positive mindset. “Like today, I had a really tough morning, I said to myself, ‘Okay, it’s just going to work,’ things are going to happen and I’m just going to go through it with the mindset that it’s just going to work out.”

It’s the kind of mindset that gave her the courage to start her own company, just two months after being laid-off.  

She had been working in the retirement industry for nine years and offered a position with another consultancy business before deciding she wanted to change the reputation of the industry itself. After seeing first-hand that it could be improved, Amy found the courage to go into business on her own. Since then, she has helped over 500 seniors find retirement homes and communities across Ottawa and expanded with an all-female team. 

 “One of the best parts is when I go into a retirement home and see a bunch of Tea & Toast clients,” said Amy, they come to say how happy they are, and you say to yourself, ‘Oh, that’s awesome,’ because you can really see them thriving.” 

For Amy, the secret to her success is in taking the stress off-of busy families and guiding them through what can be a difficult process.
 “I really enjoy helping families through everything and being able to problem solve what they need, and actually getting to a result with them. It’s touching when their response to our help is ‘Oh my god I don’t know how we would have done this without you.’ It’s so fulfilling to know that we have helped to remove some of the stress.”

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