Just about every morning, Lanna Lucas wakes up in her Steveston home at around 2:45 a.m., invariably in a cold sweat.
It’s the only way, said Lucas, she can juggle her three jobs – a single mom of a five-year-old boy, a self-employed documentary researcher and running her year old brown gourmet brown butter business.
And it’s the latter of the three endeavours that’s propelled her into the semi-finals of the nationwide Total Mom Pitch Competition, with the chance to win up to $30,000 worth of funding and resources.
Lucas is now hoping the rise of her business – called Hunter Browns, named after her son – in its first year will spur Richmondites to vote for her to get her into the finals next week.
“I don’t sleep. I simply have to (get up at that time) to juggle them all,” laughed Lucas.
“I’m lucky that I’ve always worked from home, so it allows me the flexibility. I can’t make the butter here though; I had to remove myself from that process to make it work.”
Lucas admitted farming out the production of her new product was an uncommon route for a business start-up, but recognized, with her researching role and bringing up a five-year-old on her own, “it was the only way.”
Lucas said she only found out about the competition while attending a seminar, when one of the participants, the Total Mom CEO, happened to mention it.
“There were 700 applicants at the first stage, now it’s narrowed down to 100 for public voting now,” explained Lucas.
“It was a very lengthy application process. If I win, I would do bigger production runs and release other lines.”
Thinking back to how it started, Lucas said she just kind of “stumbled into the product” at a Christmas party in 2017.
“I recipe-tested from my house in Steveston, then I got a development team to help me scale it,” said Lucas.
“We have a manufacturer, who makes it and packages it. We started with really small runs, 10 cases, then 20 cases, then we gradually worked up to pallets.”
Hunter Browns pre-made brown butter is now sold in 23 stores across the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley, mainly is specialized gourmet outlets.
To vote for Lucas by Dec. 2, go to https://www.thetotalmomshow.ca/