A year before the pandemic, Lisa Couture opened Peterborough’s first candy-gram and candy box company, “specializing in spreading kindness through candy,” as a home-based business. The pandemic didn’t stop her from relocating to a commercial storefront 18 months later.

Couture Candy PTBO (Peterborough) specializes in gift giving, offering customized specialty gift boxes for shipping, retro candy, and other rare items that aren’t easily found in your typical grocery or big-box store.

The pandemic has actually provided something of a boost, as weary consumers look for something self-indulgent and different. On the other hand, many people remain concerned about in-store visits. Expanding curbside and porch pickup has been critical.

As a new business owner, Lisa faced a big learning curve to adapt. This extended to online advertising and promotion, and understanding how best to use Google, Facebook and SEO.

She connected with her local Digital Main Street (DMS) Digital Service Squad for the advice, free webinars and connections with other local digital experts to bridge these gaps.

The effort is already paying off for 2022. For the first two months of the year, which are traditionally the weakest, sales are tripling compared to the same period of her previous years in business.

“DMS is a total game changer for us,” Lisa said. “Instead of just delivering in Peterborough, we’re now shipping all over Canada and into the States. That’s only happened with the support of DMS and its grant.”

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